Vinyl versus Wood


  #1  
Old 05-05-05, 01:30 PM
walkercooper
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Vinyl versus Wood

I'm in the market for a fence to surround my back yard, which is about 300 feet in total length. I had decided upon vinyl because of its maintenance free characteristics. I live in northern Ohio in the snow belt. Its cold and snowy here from October to April. I also have a sloped yard so that the sides of the yard run up hill at a 4-1 grade (1 foot in height for every four feet in length). The two companies I've gotten estimates from so far said it shouldn't be a problem to follow the slope along the sides of the yard. But a contractor I spoke to today said that it would be impossible to follow the slope with a vinyl product and that he recommended wood over vinyl for a number of reasons: 1) vinyl cracks, 2) vinyl is unlikely to be able to withstand the Ohio winters and was designed primarily for markets like California, 3) wood can be painted every 8 years so the ultimate cost is going to be cheaper than vinyl, and 4) wood can follow the slope of the yard while vinyl cannot. He also recommended that if I go with vinyl that I only use one particular well known brand (which happened to be the only brand they sell)and that all other brands aren't worth the money. In contrast, another contractor had told me that this "well known brand" wasn't truly any better than other non-box store brands and that I'd be better off spending my money on another brand (but not the box store brands). I'm not interested in buying a cheaper box store brand and I'm willing to spend the money on a decent brand. I would still like the white vinyl fence, but am questioning my decision. Is today's contractor just telling me lies? Any advice will be appreciated.
 
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Old 05-05-05, 03:48 PM
L
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It is hard to follow a slope with vinyl. Most of it is in 6' sections and must be installed level. You can step it down at every 6' section but it has to be level between the sections. When you step it down you will need to do something to fill in under the fence. I used landscape blocks and it isn't easy.
 
  #3  
Old 05-08-05, 10:31 AM
L
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Following a slope with vinyl, like Little-Jackie said, is more difficult than following it with wood. (Not "impossible", like the 3rd contractor claims.)

And, of course, I'll disagree with almost everything else the 3rd contractor is telling you too. A quality vnyl fence is going to have a lifetime warranty not to crack, blister, discolor, etc. And who's leg is he pulling about the painting every 8 years is going to make the wood cheaper in the long run?? EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE! You'll pay more up front for a vinyl fence than you will for wood, but you're not buying a couple hundred $$ of paint "every 8 years" (or probably more like every 4 years) and spending time painting the fence. It'll do fine in the winter. (Not all of CA looks like the pictures you see of L.A.!!!)

He is right though that not all vinyl is created equal. You are being smart to spend the few extra $$ and get the good stuff. But there are lots of brands of 'the good stuff' out there -- NOT just the one #3 is selling, and everybody else's is junk. That's just a salesman's line in this case.
 
  #4  
Old 05-12-05, 01:14 PM
walkercooper
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Thanks

Thanks for the advice. I'm sticking with my vinyl choice and going with semi-private so that there is a great ability to rack the sections down the hill. Needless to say, I have not contacted contractor #3 about providing me with an estimate.
 
 

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