Two of the most commonly used fencing materials include pressure treated pine wood and cedar wood. Particularly common are the use of these materials in split rail fences and picket fences. In this article, we will explore the differences, pros and cons of cedar wood and pine wood fencing. We will also explore cedar vs pine fence cost overview and differences.
A Concise Comparison of Cedar Vs Pine Fence
There are many pros and cons to each cedar and pine wood fencing, these are explored in detail below, however the following table provides a brief overview of pine wood vs cedar fencing. For a full overview of pine and cedar fencing costs, see the table breakdown towards the bottom of this page.
|Pine Wood||$9-24 per linear foot||10-15 years||Medium – Yearly|
|Cedar Wood||$20 – $35 per linear foot||15-25 years||Low – Yearly|
Pressure Treated (PT) Pine Wood Fencing
Pressure treated pine wood fencing is often a popular choice for fencing projects due to its affordability and durability for machining. Furthermore, because it can be pressure treated, pine wood will last a good number of years and present as good value for money. Pine wood is often a good choice for the posts, and cedar is a good option for the fencing. Regardless of the popularity, pine wood has many negatives as well as positives:
Pros of Pine Wood Fencing
The pros of pressure treated pine wood fencing include:
- Cost – Pine wood fencing is one of the cheapest material options you can choose for your fencing. The cedar wood fence cost will however vary, depending on the type and style of fence you’re choosing. However, you can expect to pay somewhere between $9 and $24 per linear foot of fencing
- Durability – Whilst cedar wood is the most durable of the two, pine wood is still extremely durable, it will last many years, often into multiple decades. Warranties for this product tend to be around 10 years
- Rot Resistance – As mentioned above, pine wood is very durable, when provided as pressure treated pine (PTP) as most pine fence products are, it will be resistant to decay and inspect damage for some years. Its resilience also means that pressure treated pine fence posts are more durable than cedar, particularly when it comes to soil and moisture exposure. For this reason, you will find many cedar fences have pressure treated pine posts
- Broad Availability – Pine tends to be more readily available than cedar wood
- Aging – Pine colors nicely with age and takes on a patina which adds to the overall look and aesthetics of the fencing.
Cons of Pine Wood Fencing
The cons of pressure treated pine wood fencing include:
- Higher Maintenance – Pine, like cedar, will need maintaining once per year, however unlike cedar pine will require treating and staining at least once a year to reduce the chance of rot
- Un-Stained Aesthetics – When pressure treated pine is installed without adding any staining, you can see the greenish tint which has been injected into the wood to add the preserving effect. This will usually fade over time and disappear with staining
- Shrinking & Warping – Unfortunately, in comparison to cedar wood, pressure treated pine is more susceptible to warping over time through shrinking, twisting and buckling. Without the correct maintenance, this type of fence will last only a short number of years.
- Longevity – In comparison to cedar, pine will last around 15 years which in itself is not a bad thing, however cedar will often last double this time and if you intend on staying for the time that the fence is likely to reach its lifespan, then it might be worth opting for a slightly more costly option such as cedar wood.
- Chemical Damage – To preserve is, it is injected with an product which can be hazardous to the environment, particularly if burned.
Maintenance of Pine Fencing
Due to their greater susceptibility to warping, rotting, insect damage and twisting, it’s important that any pine wood fence is maintained on a regular basis. The usual recommendation is that the fence is inspected, cleaned and retreated at least once per year, with any loose nails being hammered in and any rotting posts or panels replaced.
Cedar Wood Fencing
Cedar wood fencing is more expensive that pressure treated pine, however it will also last longer. It’s estimated that most cedar made fencing will have a rot resistance guarantee of around 15-25 years, or up to double that of pressure treated pine in some cases. Cedar is also a very attractive looking wood, in a very recognizable dark red/brown color. One big advantage of cedar over pine is that cedar is naturally persevered and highly durable and therefore doesn’t require any pressure treating with chemicals like pine does. The full pros and cons of cedar wood fencing are covered below:
Pros of Cedar Wood Fencing
The pros of cedar wood fences include:
- Durability – Cedar is often sold with a longer guarantee and overall is likely to hold up better in harsher, colder, damper climates
- Lower Maintenance – Whilst cedar does require a degree of yearly maintenance, it’s less so than with pressure treated pine which requires yearly staining
- Longevity – With the correct maintenance, cedar wood fencing will last for 15-25 years, which is often double the lifetime of pressure treated pine.
Cons of Cedar Wood Fencing
The cons of cedar wood fencing, whilst only few, include:
- Cost – The cost of cedar wood is greater than that of pine, you can expect to pay between $20 and $35 per linear foot of fencing, which is almost double that of pine
- Rot Resistance – Whilst above ground, cedar is very rot resistant, below ground within the soil it will rot very easily. Most professional and trained fence contractors will recommend that you use pine wood posts and cedar wood panels.
Maintenance of Cedar Fence
Cedar isn’t maintenance free by any stretch of the imagination, but it will require lower maintenance than pine wood fencing. The recommendation is that cedar wood fencing is maintained at least once per year by cleaning the fence with wood soapy water and removing any mould and ingrowing or upgrowing plants or vines.
Cedar Wood Vs Pine Wood Fence Cost
As has already been discussed above, the cost of pine wood fence vs cedar wood is lower overall. However, maintenance of pine fence will also be higher in terms of your own time. It’s important to point out that the costs will also vary depending on the type of fence, the contractor you choose, whether you choose to “do it yourself” and where in America you live. However, the table below provides a quick cost comparison of prices for cedar wood and pine wood fencing.
|Fence Type||Cost of Materials||Installation Cost||Total Project Cost||Cost Per Linear Foot|
|Cedar Wood||$2034 – $3359||$1246 – $2181||$3280 – $5740||$20 – $35|
|Pine Wood||$916 – $2106||$560 – $1290||$1476 – $3396||$9 – $24|
|Our pricing data are carefully calculated from industry averages as well as submissions from our own readers. This allows us to provide you with the best idea of the likely cost for your fence project. The above data is costed on an average of 164 linear foot.|
When comparing cedar vs pine fence, pine wood fencing is a good choice for those people with a lower budget, however cedar wood fencing is good for those people who want a good-looking fence with a little less maintenance, however the initial outlay will be higher. Tennessee fencing offer a good video overview of the two fence types which you may be interested in seeing.
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