How Long Does a Wood Fence Last?

It’s easy to list the benefits of wood fences – affordability, durability and versatility, but it’s a little more difficult to say how long a wood fence will last. That’s because there are so many variables that contribute to the lifespan of wood fences. When estimating the length of time a wood fence will last, you should look at the type of wood used, the climate where you’re located and the installation method used. These variables will help you create an educated guess of how long your fence will last!

Type of Wood

One of the largest contributors to the lifespan of a wood fence is based on the type of lumber that was selected. For example, although pressure treated pine is one of the more affordable lumber options and does look attractive, it isn’t as durable as other options, so you should only expect it to last around 15 years. On the other hand, western red cedar and southern cypress can last around 20 years. If you’re looking to maximize the longevity of your fence you might consider Brazilian hardwoods as they typically last 50 years or more, but you will pay a premium price for that lifespan. 

Although it can be easy to say that you want your wood fence to last as long as possible, you have to consider how long you actually plan on being in your home. Most homeowners only stay in a home for ten years or less, so a pressure treated pine fence would suffice. Of course, if you’re planning on having your children or relative inherit your property, you might want to spring for the Brazilian harwood. It all depends on your personal situation. 

Climate

The second largest contributor to fence longevity is climate. Humid climates tend to impact fences more than arid climates, and extreme temperatures can lead to the premature decay of your wood fence. Here in Texas we tend to have pretty humid weather, so you should take that into account when selecting the wood variation for your fence. Although weather and climate can affect fence longevity, pressure treated lumber will typically have a life expectancy of many decades with proper maintenance, which will suffice for most homeowners. If climate is a major concern of yours, consider choosing California redwood, which is a hardwood that resists decay well and can last over 25 years. 

Installation

A wood fence is only as good as the installation that was used to create it. You can select the most durable lumber available for your fence, but if it isn’t installed properly, it won’t have the desired longevity. Some installation best practices that should be followed for optimal wood fence longevity are that pickets and panels should never touch the ground and concrete or gravel should be used to fill post holes. If these best practices are not followed, you shouldn’t expect your fence to last as long. 

Now that you have an understanding of the best wood fence options for your home, you’re ready to choose the wood fence of your dreams. Give our fence staining team a call today!

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