Illinois Fence Company - FENCE RESOURCES

What Is the Best Type of Wood for a Fence?

Choosing a type of wood for your fence

Are you thinking about having a wood fence installed in your backyard? You may be wondering to your self what is the best type of wood for a fence? Most people decide to have a new fence installed for privacy and security reasons. In some cases, depending on where you live, some people are looking to reduce noise from busy streets or highways. And some people are just looking to increase the overall attractiveness of their property. Installing a new wood fence is an excellent addition to anyone's backyard. ​

​So what is the best type of wood to use for your new fence? Well, the answer is it depends. You want to choose the type of wood that best suits both your short and long term goals. You want to take into account the part of the country that you live in, specifically as it relates to your year-around climate changes. You also want to take into account the budget you have set aside for this project. And lastly, how long do you plan to live in the house. Are you going to be there for decades, or are you planning to move sometime soon? In this article, we are going to talk about how to select the best wood for your exact circumstances.

What is the weather like where you live? 

Your local year-round climate could play a significant role in the type of wood you plan to use in your next fence project. You want to ask yourself a serious of questions. Does it rain a lot where you live, or is it dry most of the time? Does the weather drop to shallow freezing temperatures during the winter months? Or does it rise to scorching temperatures during the summer? We are primarily trying to determine if there is a lot of fluctuations in the climate where you live or if it's relatively stable year-round. The answers to these questions will help you determine the type of wood you should be using in your next fence project. The main goal we are trying to accomplish is that we are trying to choose a wood that will not deteriorate as quickly. Ultimately you want to select a type of wood that will last for many years to come. 

Is the type of wood vulnerable to insects? 

We want to make sure that you are going to choose a wood material that naturally repels insects. There are many types of wood available on the market today that are known to have natural elements that keep pesky bugs away, such as termites. You don't want wood that is susceptible to insect infestation. Still, in some cases, depending on where you live, you might even want to opt for pressure-treated lumber. You want to avoid termites taking up residence in your new fence. They are notoriously known for eating away at the wood, which causes the fence to rot and decay more rapidly. The bottom line is you don't want your fence to fall apart over time because of insects. We will discuss below which types of wood have natural repellants. ​

What is your budget for a new fence? 

So you probably have a budget in mind for your next fence project. One factor we suggest that you considering is how long you plan to live in the home. If you plan to live in your current home for more than ten years, this will influence your decision on what type of wood you choose to have installed for your next fence project. What we have learned over the years is that opting for more durable and sturdy wood actually could save you money throughout the lifetime of the fence. Have high-end quality wood installed will lead to fewer repairs over time. Choosing quality wood will lengthen the time before you eventually have to replace the fence. But if you are looking to move in the next couple of years, it might not be worth the investment to buy more expensive lumber, because you won't be around long enough to enjoy it. The average wood fence could last 10-30 years depending on the craftsmanship of the installation, the type of wood material used, and how much maintenance you perform year over year.

Most Popular Kinds of Wood on the Market

When it comes to fence installation, the most popular types of wood are cedar and pine. Less common are cypress and redwood, but they are excellent options, as well. ​


By far, the most popular and dependable type of wood on the market today is cedar, because it requires the least amount of maintenance than its other wood counterparts. Cedar has natural elements that act as an insect repellant agent, which is probably more effective than any other type of wood. Cedar fencing, when freshly installed, radiates a delightful aroma for several months. Many homeowners like the rustic look and feel of a cedar fence. The one thing to note is that cedar fencing tends to be on the more expensive side, but it's worth it for the many benefits that it offers.


Probably one of the most common woods used in the industry today is pine. The excellent news about pine wood is that it's relatively inexpensive compared to other types of wood. Plus, pine is well known for lasting a very long time. Although it's a bit softer than cedar, it is straightforward to work with and maintain. Pine is also known to withstand shrinkage throughout its lifetime. ​


Although not as common as cedar and pine, cypress is becoming a popular alternative for many reasons. Just like cedar, cypress also has natural substances that repel insects making it less susceptible to rot and decay from termites. Its pricing is also similar to cedar. And like cedar, it does give off a pleasant aroma after its installed. Cypress is also known for having fewer knots, giving the fence a more elegant look overall. ​


The last type of wood we are going to talk about is redwood. Again, less popular than cedar and pine. Still, it is a good alternative because, just like cedar and cypress, it has potent insect repellant substances at work in the wood. People also choose redwood because this type of wood is known for lasting many years after its installed. Also, some people prefer the overall look, as it contains natural deep red tones within the wood itself. It is on the higher-priced side, similar to the prices of cedar fencing. ​

Maintenance Tips for Wood Fences

Regardless of the type of wood fence material that you select, with cedar, pine, cypress, or redwood, you're going to have ongoing yearly maintenance. We suggest that you treat the fence with a specialized weatherproof solution to ensure that moisture build-up does not rot away the fence, causing it to decay quickly. These solutions can also help protect your fence against high and low temperatures that are typical with the changing of the seasons. Make sure the solution also provides UV protection that can preserve the natural color of the wood for an extended period. You will want to coat your wood fence on an annual basis to maintain its natural rustic look and feel over time. 

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