Building a fence is a big deal. It takes time and can be expensive, so choosing your fence type is a really important decision. Ensure that you choose the right one with our handy tips. Plus, we’ve answered some questions you may have about your vinyl fencing, including vinyl picket vs. vinyl privacy fence. Let’s look.
You’ve chosen vinyl, and that’s a good thing. The benefits of a vinyl fence are numerous. It can be a little more expensive than wood, but you can get the look of wood pickets with far less maintenance and fewer issues. It’s relatively new, but even in the short time it’s been on the market, it has improved considerably.
Once installed, it’s virtually maintenance-free, but it can have a big learning curve to put in. Consider hiring a professional for vinyl installation because it tends to show any little inconsistencies. You can’t just cut it off to account for small mistakes.
Other than that, it’s an attractive, long-lasting fence type that’s better on a budget than something like iron, but lasts longer than wooden fences with little long term maintenance.
Tips for Choosing Fence Types
When it comes to fences, there are fences that you need and a fence that you want. You may love the look of something, but your land and circumstances are more accommodating for something else. In the short term, you may be disappointed if you don’t get what you want, but in the long run, you’ll be glad for a fence that you need.
If you do well and consider your landscape, a fence is an attractive selling point for your home. A professional-looking fence lends a finished air to your property. You should also consider maintenance in the long term. How much time will you have to spend ensuring your fence stays in good shape, and how much are you willing to do?
You should also check with your HOA before making any fencing decisions because nothing kills the mood faster than your HOA regulations preventing you from getting the fence that you want. Do your research ahead of time, and you can choose your fence safely without hitting snags before (or even worse after) you install it.
Vinyl Picket vs. Vinyl Privacy Fence: The Basics
Choosing the right kind of fence, in this case, is a little easier because you’ve already decided on your material, vinyl. Now you just need to determine what kind of fence you want.
A vinyl picket fence is a classic option for those of you with properties you don’t want to hide. Picket fences help keep things out (or, in the case of pets or children) but allow maximum visibility with little interference with your view.
Picket fences are also lower to the ground. Typical picket fences are around three to four feet, with a few just a little higher. The purpose isn’t to provide privacy or security. Instead, it helps define the borders of your property and help offer some peace for pets or children.
Because picket fences are such a low profile, they make a great option if you aren’t sure you’ll stay in your current home forever. Picket fences are big selling points for the housing market and could be an excellent way to uplevel your property without a big fuss.
Picket fences are easy to maintain because there’s space to get between for clearing debris and errant growth. They’re easier to blow clean from snow or leaves and lower to the ground for cleaning.
Choose a picket fence if you:
- Don’t need privacy.
- May sell your home in the future.
- Don’t need to keep a fence for major security.
Stay away from a picket fence if you:
- Have an escape artist pet or child
- Need to keep prying eyes away from your property
A vinyl privacy fence an excellent way to keep your property protected and ensure that no pets or children escape. They’re quite the undertaking but can make a dramatic statement, especially in the backyard. In areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, or you can see into your neighbor’s windows, it’s an excellent way to ensure that you don’t have to keep looking at them.
Privacy fences are much larger, typically six feet or more, and feature slats that meet so that no gaps exist. These slats must be planned out carefully, or you can use panels to help ensure that your panels are even.
A privacy fence may require some professional help to ensure that it’s properly supported. It can be more challenging to maintain just because of its sheer size and the lack of space to trim around the gaps and at the bottom.
Privacy fences are great if you plan to stay in your home for a while and don’t need to worry about the potential resale value. While a privacy fence in the back can be a good selling point, adding one in the front is a risky maneuver.
Choose a privacy fence if:
- Your child or pet is an escape artist.
- You need to keep eyes off your property or can see your neighbors in your backyard
- You have the budget for a bigger all around fence
Stay away from privacy fences if:
- You don’t want to affect the view of your house
- You don’t want maintenance
Installing Your Fence
Installing picket fences and privacy fences happen much the same way, but choosing between a panel or board and rail system will require some thought.
Picket Fence Types
With a vinyl picket fence, panels are simple because they allow you to handle your spacing without as much issue. The panels are set in a factory to be perfectly spaced. You’ll only have to measure your posts, and you’re good to go.
A paneled privacy fence is also good if you’re doing customized details like curves across the top. Your sightlines will be even no matter what you do. The downside is the panels are sometimes more expensive on top of already more expensive material.
Individual pickets can sometimes save you money, but you must be ready to measure out precisely so that you can get the best spacing. If you aren’t methodical or you don’t plan to hire help, this may not work out in your favor.
Individual pickets can also help you deal with a nonstandard space, providing customization for the run of the fence or the length. If you’ve got a strangely shaped space, a board and rail system can help you.
Privacy Fence Types
Vinyl privacy fences come in the same manner. Panels are easier for sure, but since you don’t have to worry about spacing, you may want to save some bucks and get a board and rails system. Your biggest concern with a privacy fence is that you maintain an even top so that your fence is unified and blends well.
Since vinyl can’t be cut the way wood can, working with panels can help ensure that you get that clear boundary. If you have a strangely shaped yard, you may need individual pickets, but just ensure that you account for slopes in your yard and other inconsistencies.
Privacy fences are good candidates for professional help because the panels can be unwieldy. Individual panels used for strangely constructed yards may also cause some difficulty. With vinyl, you want to get this exactly right. However, a panel type is probably going to make it go faster and smoother during installation.
Maintaining Your Fences
Once you’ve chosen your perfect fence type, maintaining it is the key to a long-lasting fence life. Ensure that you’re on top of taking care of your fence.
Picket fence maintenance:
- Clean out between pickets to cut down on overgrowth
- Check for cracked or broken pickets
- Brush away snow and leaves from the base of the fence
Privacy fence maintenance:
- Ensure that you don’t lean or store things up against the fence
- Brush snow and leaves from the top
- Keep debris away from the base of the fence
- Visually inspect the fence for cracks and warping
Choosing a Fence Type
Again, you’ll want to choose the fence your property needs rather than the fence you want. In the long run, you’ll have better luck and a better experience. Pay close attention to your needs when choosing privacy or a picket fence, so you don’t end up regretting the decision.
A picket fence helps define the boundaries of your property without being intrusive. It can also help keep children and pets in place, so you don’t have to worry about them when they’re outside.
A privacy fence is excellent for handling prying eyes and can give you space, such as a backyard, where you don’t have to worry about the outside world. It’s useful for hiding unsightly parts of your property or providing a cozy space in a crowded world. Choose the right option, and you’ll only love your property even more.