The initial materials may cost a bit more, but in only a few years a durable, attractive vinyl fence could save you a ton of cash and still look great. A traditional wood fence may cost between $9 and $12 per foot for the material, but gradually it weathers and rots over time and may need to be replaced within 5 to 10 years. By contrast, a vinyl fence can last up to 50 years and is virtually maintenance free, so it can be well worth a material that might cost around $17 per foot. If you plan to stay in your home for 15 years or longer, installing a vinyl fence is a cost-effective decision. Here are some facts and tips about vinyl fences to get you started.
All the Styles
Although vinyl fences are made of plastic (often of partly recycled materials), they are available in many styles to fit the needs of your home. Traditionally made from wood, ranch or split-rail style fences and, because they use less material, are often more affordable than other styles. Vinyl is great for picket fences which define boundaries in a neighborly way or ornamental fences which provide a physical barrier but not a visual one. It can also take on a wood look to make a more beautiful privacy fence, and it even comes in stone look styles to resemble a much more expensive stone wall.
Consider Doing it Yourself
If you love do-it-yourself home projects and have moderate skills with measurements, tools and construction, this may be a perfect time to make use of them. The cost of labor is typically the biggest cost associated with a vinyl fence, which means big savings for you if you've got the time and the know-how. There are many helpful DIY guides available online, and most vinyl fence material comes with detailed installation instructions. The basic steps are (1) dig temporary post holes, (2) carefully measure distances with tape measure and string, (3) assemble the fence section by section, then (4) finalize the design by cementing the posts in place. It's also important to include the post width and gate measurements in your calculations to avoid having to make awkward adjustments at the end.
Understand the Land
One step that can save you a ton of time and hassle is to research your property and talk to your neighbors. You'll need to know the exact location of the boundary between your property and theirs so you know you're building a fence that doesn't trespass on someone else's land. If your property has any easements, such as those required by a utility which needs access to their equipment, you'll need to take that into account in your design. Working out in advance a fence style and construction schedule that you and your neighbors can agree on is good business sense, as well as being a good neighbor.
Get Multiple Estimates
On the other hand, if you think your fence ought to be professionally installed, it's important to find a local contractor, like City Wide Fence Co, who can build you a quality fence for a fair price. Even if you're otherwise a handy person, you might wish to call on a contractor if your fence will need to have special features such as unusual angles or steep grades. Most companies will give you an estimate for free, so you can compare prices and get a sense of how they do business before you hire one.