IN THE ECONOMY OF TODAY, MONEY IS TIGHT. EVERY PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED.
The last thing any household wants is unexpected expenditure. This article will attempt to show the real cost of owning a fence over its lifetime. It will compare the cost of owning a wooden fence VS the cost of owning a concrete fence.
Most cities have fencing bylaws that dictates the maximum height for a fence on the property. Here are the general rules of thumb for residential housing:
Wood fence is initially cheaper than the more permanent fencing solutions such as concrete fencing. This is the main reason most people choose wooden fencing. People either do not have the necessary funds for a permanent fencing solution or they simply tell themselves "I'll worry about replacing the fence 10 years down the road". The latter can be a costly mistake.
On average in the Greater Vancouver region of British Columbia, you will be able to have a wooden fence installed starting at $26 a foot for a 6 feet high privacy fence. This includes material and labour. $26/ft usually gets you a somewhat relatively low quality wood (Pine, Fir, or Spruce) compared to a higher quality wood (Redwood) at $36+ a foot. Be wary of contractors willing to install a wooden fence for really cheap. These contractors tend to cut corners to make up for the lost profits. This can decrease the life of your wooden fence and increase cost for you down the road.
Wood is taken from living trees and is subject to rot and deterioration. To slow down the inevitable death of wooden fence, maintenance is required. In a climate like BC, wooden fence typically require more maintenance than other types of fences. You will need to rinse or pressure wash a wooden fence a couple times a year. You will also need to repaint and/or stain the fence every 3 or 4 years. Doing so can ensure your wooden fence to last up to 15-20 years. Without such maintenance, a wood fence will need to be replaced every 10 years or so.
Recapping: 100 feet worth of 6 feet high privacy wooden fence
Cost of material and installation: $2600 - 3600
Painting (5 times over a 20 year life): $600 each time = $3000
Pressure washing (twice a year for 20 years = 40 times): $50 each time = $2000
Negate misc cost of owning a fence
Total cost for owning a wood fence EVERY 20 years = $7600+
When a concrete fence is done right, it can be a permanent fencing solution. Like all fences, concrete fence is also subject to external factors such as earthquakes or storms or etc, but they are proven to have more resistance against external factors. The main problem for concrete fence is simply the cost. However once installed, a concrete fence becomes virtually maintenance free! The only maintenance is washing the wall once every few years to keep the wall looking like brand new. Even if left unwashed, the quality of the concrete fence does not change nor degrade like wood fence being prone to rot.
Recapping: 100 feet worth of 6 feet high privacy concrete fence
Cost of material and installation: $6500 - 8000
Pressure washing: N/A
Negate misc cost of owning a fence
Total cost for owning a concrete fence INDEFINITELY = $6500- 8000
The long term savings of concrete fencing coupled with virtually no maintenance clearly makes concrete fencing the smart way to go. Most concrete fencing manufacturer even provide financing to help people get past the hurdle of the initial cost of concrete fencing. Through short-sight, most people make the mistake of believing that wood fence is the cheapest solution when it comes to fencing. However, now that the math have been crunched, you can see for yourself the true cost of owning a fence!