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6 Pros And Cons Of Picket Fences

Landscaping, Siding & Exterior
By on Apr 17, 2014
6 Pros And Cons Of Picket Fences

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Picket fences evoke feelings of the American Dream, traditionalism and images of old-fashioned homes in the 1950s. While many houses across the U.S. today have different types of fences like metal and brick, some homeowners prefer white picket fences.

Picket fences come with a few pros and cons that homeowners should take into consideration before DIY installation or calling in a professional fence installer. Consider some of these basic facts about picket fences:



Picket fences, whether they’re made of wood or vinyl, are one of the most inexpensive fencing options. Wood and vinyl cost far less as a fencing material than metal or stone, and installing them takes less time than others.

Easily Customizable

Picket fence design offers more options than metal and brick because of the material. They can be different colors and shapes, whereas brick and metal are more limited. Wood can be painted any color, though it’s important to match the home.

Environmentally Friendly

Wood fencing not only blends into the natural landscape of the yard, but it’s also biodegradable. In case homeowners aren’t pleased, they can use it as the framing for a flower bed or compost. This is not an option with vinyl picket fencing, so homeowners must be careful when choosing which picket fence material to invest in.


Regular Maintenance

While wood fencing is more natural than vinyl, it needs regular care and maintenance. The paint has to be reapplied as the wood wears, and some pickets will blow away or break, which means nailing in new pieces. Vinyl picket fences need less maintenance because they’re made from composite material, but they will still need repairing from time to time.


Wood picket fences run the risk of termites if not properly stained or maintained, causing them to rot and fall apart. Climate conditions could also rot wood, which means replacement. So homeowners should choose vinyl picket fencing if they live in a climate with a lot of moisture or pest problems.

Warping & Sinking

A problem many homeowners run into when installing wood picket fences is warping. When the fencing is grounded, it warps because of the moisture in the soil, which eventually destroys it. If too many pickets warp, the whole fence falls apart.


Picket fencing is ideal for homeowners looking to complement their homes with a traditional look. While installing a fence costs an average of $2,400, these costs vary not only by the extent of the project, but also by the location. For example, homeowners in Chicago reportedly pay about $2,200 for professional fence installation, while homeowners in San Francisco are reportedly charged about $3,400 for similar service. Homeowners can certainly install picket fencing as a DIY project, but hiring an experienced fencing contractor will help ensure longevity and fewer problems.

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