Have you been looking for the ideal fencing material but torn between wood and composite? Although the two may be quite similar and preferred by many homeowners, it would be advisable to pick the best one for your specific application and preferences. Below is a simple guide to help you know more about the key differences and similarities between the two and the best one for various applications. We will compare everything from durability and cost – this should enable you to make the right choice.
1. Durability Wood Vs. Composite Fencing
How durable the material or fence is, is the first thing every property/homeowner will want to know before making the final decision. Wood and composite fences each handle different elements differently, as seen below.
A wooden fence is more likely to rot faster compared to a composite. This is especially true with soft woods such as fir, pine, and cedar. Hardwood may however withstand rot for much longer, though it will rot at some point. Composite is, however, more resistant to rotting and mold damage. It only needs simple light maintenance to boost its durability.
3. Insect Damage
Insects and small critters are more attracted to pure wood than composite. A wooden fence will thus be more susceptible to woodlice or termite infestation, something you need to keep. Composite wood is, on the other hand, more resistant to most types of insects, hence will last longer where wood would fair poorly.
Composite fence is thus more durable than wood, where decay and insect damage is an issue. Treated wood may also last considerably, though not as long as composite.
How affordable wood or composite is, are factors you need to keep in mind when deciding on the best roofing material. According to research and statistics from Checkatrade, natural wood has a lower upfront cost than the composite wood. This is one of its tradeoffs for durability. This means you may have to replace the wood fence at some point in a few years. Composite garden gates or fencing, although more expensive upfront, will outlast any wood fence, hence a cheaper long-term solution.
5. Maintenance Requirements: Composite Vs. Wood
Composite wood is engineered to withstand most weather elements, and many other elements wood might not. That said, it requires little to no maintenance, while you’d need to keep an eye on wood throughout the time. With composite resistant to moisture and temperature changes, it is safe to say you won’t have to ‘look after’ it after installation. Composite is thus the best choice if looking for an almost maintenance-free fencing option.
Although composite wood has evolved greatly over the last couple of years, it still can’t compete with natural wood. Natural wood provides an authentic and true look and feels, something manufacturers are yet to wrap their minds around.
7. Color Choice
A natural wooden fence can be painted in any color or theme. Composite wood panels, however, come in various patterns and color choices. Composite thus gives you total control over what theme or color you’d want, making a preferred choice for themed fences and other applications. Those who prefer stained wood will find natural wood more appealing.
8. Environment Friendliness
Unknown to many, composite wood is considered more environmentally friendly than natural wood. One of the reasons why is that composite wood is made of recycled materials. Natural wood fences, however, require harvesting tons of trees to get fencing posts and supports, which is bad for the environment. No trees will need to be cut down to produce composite wood. Making it the most eco-friendly option. In addition to this, composite fences last much longer than natural wood, saving even more trees in the long run.
9. How Easy Is It To Install
Everyone would want to consider the installation cost and time before making the final fencing material. While the two are easy to cut to size and install, composite is much easier to bent or curve. It only needs to be heated to allow the material to curve/bent to the desired angle. Anyone looking to make a curved fence or gate will thus find composite more appealing and practical.
10. Which Fades Faster
Composite is known to fade noticeably faster than natural wood. Although some composites are designed to resist fading, they eventually do, leaving the wood with its natural appeal. Although there may be options marketed as fading-resistant, it is safe to say composite will still fade at some point. The best thing about wood is that its characteristics and aesthetic appeal improve as it ages. With proper care and maintenance, a wooden fence will retain its allure for many years if not improved.