Pressure treated pine and cedar are both popular choices for fencing. They are the most popular wood species in DFW when it comes to fencing. They are both durable and resistant to rot and pests. Both can be stained and both are often combined to create a superior fence. Each wood has its own pros and cons. Understanding the differences will help you to make an informed decision when purchasing your next fence.
Pressure treated pine is a wood that has been chemically treated with a chemical preservative that helps protect it from rot and insects. Treated pine is significantly less expensive than cedar. Due to its chemical treatment this is a very durable and long-lasting wood. In fact, it is stronger than cedar. Treated pine is generally delivered to the store wet and will require some time to dry before it can be stained. Pressure treated pine is also prone to warping, twisting, and cracking. These are the not so attractive attributes of treated pine that make people think twice about the cost savings one can achieve. There is a solution to this. There is a not so available product called KDAT or kiln dried after treatment lumber. This is a wood that has all the benefits of treated pine, and has been dried after the treatment process. This wood is much less prone to the warping, twisting, and cracking. This product costs less than cedar but costs more than the treated wood that typically comes wet. Treated pine does not need to be stained.
Cedar is a time-tested product when it comes to fencing. It as a very long lasting and pest resistant wood. Cedar is resistant to insects because of its natural tannin oils. These oils are also beneficial to the longevity of the wood itself. When insects come upon your cedar fence they will move onto the neighbors to see what theirs is constructed of. Insects do not like the taste of these tannin oils. Cedar is a lightweight wood which is beneficial to the structure of a fence. Treated pine is a heavier wood, especially if it is wet. A cedar fence can be treated shortly after installation as can be the KDAT lumber which is often used for railing and rot boards. Cedar has a beautiful natural appearance and does not need to be stained. Cedar is quite possibly the most attractive fence material ever produced. Staining is a protective process that adds to the durability and longevity of a fence.
Many fences are built using 100% pressure treated pine and it is constructed with wet wood. This is a very cost effective fence that will last a very long time when constructed properly. Just be advised that there will be shrinkage, twisting, warping, and cracking. Wood is not a manufactured synthetic product it is natural and there is no way to control it. A fence constructed of 100% cedar including the posts is a very high quality fence that will last a very long time if constructed properly. At our Keller TX fence company we believe there is a happy medium using a combination of materials that will achieve the highest quality at the most cost effective price. At Keller Fence & Gate we believe KDAT is superior to cedar when it comes to fence rails. We prefer to build every single fence we construct using KDAT. We believe cedar is the finest natural fence picket you can buy and is far superior to a treated pine picket.
Pressure treated pine pickets are a cost saving option. Because of the shrinkage and movement of treated pine pickets it is advised not to build a board on board type of fence. Treated pickets are best used for shadow box and side by side fence styles. Board on board offers total privacy but this style of fence is better suited for cedar pickets. Treated pickets are best for semi-private fences as the pickets will shrink and leave small openings in a side by side fence. Most treated wood fences will have what is called dog ear pickets and will not have any top trim. Top trim is generally used on cedar fences although cedar dog ear pickets are an option. Rot boards or kick boards should always be made of ground contact treated wood. If you need some help choosing the materials for your next fence please give us a call we are happy to help.
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