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The Ultimate Vinyl Fence Vs. Wood Fence Guide

If you’ve reached the Rite-Way Fencing website, it’s a good bet that you’re looking for information about fencing for your home or commercial property. If you’ve reached this page, you’re probably weighing the pros and cons of vinyl fence vs. wood fence.

The good news is, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to these two fence types, the benefits and drawbacks of each, costs related to materials and installation and more. So, you should find everything you need to know right here.


When it comes to aesthetics in the battle of vinyl fence vs. wood fence, things are pretty evenly balanced. At least at first.

Vinyl fence and wood fence both look great when they are installed, and they will both enhance your backyard or other fence line. However, over time, that is likely to change.

Most quality vinyl fence brands have upwards of a 25-year warranty, so even two decades after they’re installed, they still look good.

Most wood fences at 20 years don’t look great for much, except being torn down and taken to the dump. So, if you want a fence that’s going to look great for a LONG time, vinyl fence wins this one!

Easy to Obtain

This is a little bit tricky because it really depends on what you are looking for.

You can get the lumber for a wood fence at any hardware store or lumber yard, but if you start looking for cedar, you might have a little more trouble. There is also currently a huge amount of demand for lumber for construction, so even though wood is usually easy to find, you might struggle – or have a serious case of sticker shock!

Vinyl fence is a lot easier to find in Canada these days, but you need to choose a reputable supplier. Cheap imports from the far east might look the same on day one, but they will fade, crack, and discolour much faster than a quality product.

You need to find a supplier who sources their materials from a supplier in north America, so that you can be sure you’re getting value for money.

Currently, with imports of raw materials to the USA and vinyl fence to Canada, you also want to order a lot earlier than you think you’re going to need the product. It could take a while for it to get to you!

Ease of Installation

When it gets to installation, things get a bit more interesting.

On the one hand, because wood fence is usually constructed on site from lumber that is bought from a lumber supplier, it can be cut and adjusted to suit any slope, corner, angle, or requirement.

Vinyl can be installed on slopes and can accommodate corners and other site features, but posts need to be routered for rails, so there’s a little more planning involved.

On the other hand, the only real way to install a wood fence post is in a concrete footing, so that means digging and pouring everyone.

Vinyl fence, on the other hand, can be installed over a steel inner post that is pounded into the ground, or in concrete. Which accommodates a lot more sites and makes access to the fence line a little simpler. It’s a lot easier to use a portable post pounder among the petunias than it is to get a skid steer or bobcat in there!

Design Options

Vinyl and wood fence are quite evenly matched when it comes to design options.

Even though wood fence is built from lumber and can be made in any configuration you can think of, the new lines of vinyl fence are so vast and extensive that you can do almost everything you can with wood.

Full privacy fence, picket fence, ranch rail, horizontal rail fencing, lattice and all kinds of other things are all possible with both types of fence. It’s just a little more uniform with vinyl fence because components are precision manufactured so they are always perfect.

On the colour front, wood is more flexible, but only because you can paint or stain it any colour you like. However, that does mean you have to repaint or stain it every few years.

Vinyl comes in a lot of different colours these days too, as well as special products like “almost natural” wood grain finishes. Then there are all the two-tone options you have.

Longevity and Durability

A quality vinyl fence will last 20 years or more, so in this case, you just can’t beat vinyl.


Once vinyl fence is installed, and provided there’s no physical damage or vandalism, it will never need more than pressure washing to look great.

Modern, quality vinyl doesn’t crack, fade, or discolour, so it stays looking great for decades with no maintenance at all.

Wood fence will look good for a few years, but, depending on the climate and other factors, after a few years you will need to do maintenance. At first, that might mean pressure washing a cedar fence or - your fence, but later, you will be replacing boards, securing loose rails and more.

In fact, over time, a wood fence will cost more money and take more time to maintain every year, so make sure you factor those things into your calculations.


This is the big one that everyone wants to know. What does wood fence cost? How much does vinyl fence cost?

The price of your fence will vary based on the site layout and the type of fence you want, but that’s not the biggest factor right now. There’s an all-time high demand for lumber that is driving prices up in 2021. No one is entirely sure what the ceiling is, but it’s safe to say that your wood fence will be more expensive.

Vinyl fence usually costs a little more when you do the installation, but because it will cost you basically nothing in maintenance every year, over time, the cost might be the same or even less than wood.

Our Verdict

There’s always going to be a market for wood fence in Canada. It’s comfortable and something we all grew up with.

But when it comes to the best product for the job, as fence professionals, we choose vinyl every time.

The value that vinyl fence will give you over time just beats anything wood fence can offer. There’s just no contest.

If you want to know what your vinyl fence project will cost, you can use the Budget Price tool on the site menu above or contact your branch to request a quote.

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