What type of wood should I use for my fence?

Are you thinking about adding or replacing a wood fence to your home? We’ve got the 411 on the different types of wood to consider for your new fence project. Whether you’re hiring a contractor to build the fence for you or taking on the home project yourself, it’s good to be informed about the different types of wood to build your fence.

Western Red Cedar
This is the most common type of cedar. This type of wood is relatively soft with a straight grain and a reddish color to it, as its name implies. Western Red cedar can handle moist environments without rotting. Because of its superior durability and stability, it is mostly used for outdoor projects such as furniture, decks and building exteriors. Western red cedar is moderately priced and aesthetically pleasing.

S1S2E Cedar
This cedar wood comes mostly from Canada so it’s more expensive than the domestic Western Red Cedar. The S1S2E material means one side is left rough, and the other side and edges are smooth. Like most cedar, this wood fights off weather, bugs, fungi and algae so it can be used for both outdoor and indoor construction projects. Tannish brown in color, the grain pattern is tight with few knots.

Douglas Fir
This wood has a straight, pronounced grain with a reddish brown tint to it that doesn’t stain very well, so it’s best to use when you plan to paint the finished product. Although it’s similar in appearance to certain whitewoods, it’s more resistant to decay and has better structural stability. This wood is best suited for a consumer wanting more longevity from their fence, but at a competitive price point. Although it’s most often used for building because of its low price, it can also be used to make furniture.

Pressure Treated Pine Wood
Pine is mainly used for building furniture because it’s very easy to work with and because most varieties are relatively soft, it lends itself to carving. Different types of pine include Ponderosa, Sugar, White, and Yellow.  Pine wood generally takes stain very well, but can have a green tint to it because it’s chemically treated. This wood is more susceptible to warping, buckling, twisting and shrinking than its counterparts, has a lifespan of about 15 years (half the lifespan of cedar typically) and requires regular maintenance.

Depending on what’s important to you; price, durability and maintenance, you can see a clear option that fits your needs. If you prefer a more affordable option, then pressure treated pine wood is your best bet, but if you’re looking for a low maintenance, durable, high quality wood fence, then cedar wood is your best choice.

Whatever materials you choose, we are sure you’ll love your new fence once it’s finished. A fence is a great way to make your home more appealing, while adding value and increasing the privacy and security of your home.

To see the many different fence style options, please visit our projects page.

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