Pine vs. Cedar Fencing: Our Charlotte Fence Contractor Weighs In

If you have decided that you would like a to install a new wooden fence in Charlotte, you may be trying to decide between the two most popular wood fence materials: pressure-treated pine, and cedar. Below, our Charlotte fence contractor shares some pros and cons of each.

Benefits of Pine Fences

Pine fences are a very popular fencing material, primarily because they are very affordable. Pressure-treated pine fences typically cost anywhere from about $10 to $25 per linear foot, including fence installation costs. That means that if you need 150 linear feet of fencing–the average for a typical residential backyard–a pine fence will run you anywhere from $1,500 to $3,750. This is much cheaper than other options such as a metal or vinyl fence.

Pine is also more durable than cedar when it is exposed to soil, making it a better material for fence posts. Because of this, many cedar fences have posts that are made of pressure-treated pine and boards made of cedar.

Drawbacks of Pine Fences

The biggest drawback of pressure-treated pine is its appearance. Most of the pine used to build fences is Southern yellow pine that has been treated with chemical preservatives to prevent weather and insect damage and rot. The chemical process used to enhance the wood’s durability causes a greenish tint that is often considered unsightly. However, this will fade over time, and can be hidden with painting or staining.

Secondly, although they are cheaper up-front, pressure-treated pine fences tend to last about 15 years or less — about half the time of cedar fences. They are more susceptible to warping, buckling, twisting, shrinking, and insect damage, and can start to look weathered in just a few years, particularly without proper fence maintenance.

Benefits of Cedar Fences

Cedar is a beautiful, high-quality wood that is easily recognized by its pleasant scent and rich, reddish-brown color. Since the wood contains natural preservatives—the cause of that characteristic smell–it does not require any chemical treatment. This makes it more eco-friendly than pressure-treated pine, whose chemicals may seep into the soil and harm the environment.

Aside from its distinctive grain pattern, scent, and color, cedar is very popular for its durability. It will usually last longer against insects, mold, weather, and rot than pine fencing will. With proper fence maintenance, cedar fencing can last up to 30 years or more.

Drawbacks of Cedar Fences

The major rub here is the cost. Cedar fences typically cost about $15 to $30 per linear foot, including installation. While 150 ft. of pine fencing cost from $1,500 to $3,750, 150 ft. of cedar fencing will range from $2,250-$4,500. (In both cases, small picket fences fall on the low end of the spectrum, while tall privacy fences fall on the high end.)

In addition, also, while cedar fences require less maintenance than those made of pressure-treated pine, they still need to be cleaned, repaired, and inspected every so often. If you want your fence to be as hassle-free as possible, a vinyl or metal fence might better suit your preference.

Get a Custom Wood Fence in Charlotte!

If you’re considering installing a wooden fence around your Charlotte home or business, just call James Fence and Gate. We’ll be happy to help you decide which wooden fence type is best for you! To schedule a free, no-commitment project estimate, click here.