Pittsburgh Vinyl Fencing

by Jon Nunan

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Whether you want to mark property lines, make an enclosure for pets or small children, or simply wish to accent the look of your home, installing a fence is a practical and popular home improvement project. The style of fence you choose should reflect your aesthetic preferences but needs to be functional at the same time. The latter is one of the main reasons why, for homeowners in Pittsburgh, vinyl fences are becoming increasingly popular.

Benefits of a Vinyl Fence in Pittsburgh
Though vinyl fencing has never looked better than it does today, most people choose it not for its appearance, but for its durability. Allegheny County and the surrounding areas are annually subjected to rain, sleet, snow, and below freezing temperatures; they also have to deal with hot and humid conditions every summer. Despite the environmental challenges of Pittsburgh, vinyl fences will hold up well for many years and, if well maintained, will look about the same as the day you put them in even after a decade of exposure to the elements.

Southwest Pennsylvania homeowners might also be impressed by vinyl's low maintenance qualities. It is easy to wash, doesn't require painting, and won't rot or decay no matter what the conditions. Maintaining a vinyl fence basically means hosing it down a few times a year, giving it a good wash with soapy water annually, and trying not to run it over. This is a far cry from the yearly upkeep requirements of a traditional wood fence.

Wood vs. Vinyl Fencing
When choosing between a wooden or vinyl fence, Pittsburgh residents are becoming ever more aware of vinyl's good qualities. In Iron City, and across the country, people are opting for vinyl more and more over other more traditional materials. While it is certainly tough, durable, and easy to maintain, there are still some valid reasons to opt for classic wood.

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Yes, wood fences require much more attention than their vinyl counterparts, and they will most likely need to be replaced after fewer seasons, but one place where vinyl fencing continues to fall short is in the looks department. If your home is in an old and established neighborhood, a vinyl fence simply will not look as good against a backdrop of classic natural materials such as stone or brick. Regardless of your neighborhood, the authentic look of a wood fence is very desirable to many people. For them, wood is well worth the extra care required to keep it looking its best.

Going hand-in-hand with wood's good looks is its character. As wood ages, it develops; as vinyl ages, it stays the same. There is not much you can do to change these life cycles, and depending on your personal preference, either can be a blessing or a curse.

Pittsburgh Vinyl Fence Pricing
Across the country, a vinyl fence costs an average of around $4,000 to install (wood fences average about $3,000 and aluminum comes in at about $3,500). A Pittsburgh vinyl fence is actually likely to cost a little less than the national average. This difference can most likely be attributed to smaller property sizes. Though it is initially more expensive to install a vinyl fence, the low maintenance costs and very low frequency of service or replacement tends to make vinyl more cost-effective than wood in the long run.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.