A pressure treated pine is one of the most popular choices of fencing in the United States. In the North Texas area you will probably find more cedar fences. When comparing the cost benefit of pine pickets vs other options, it’s hard to beat a pressure treated pine picket. A six-foot high five-and-a-half-inch wide dog eared treated pine picket is approximately half the price of a cedar picket. If you are looking for a fence with complete privacy, you will need to use a more stable make of wood such as cedar. Treated pine is delivered wet when it comes from the manufacturer. In the process of drying, pine shrinks, warps, and cracks which makes its best use a semi-private fence such as a side by side fence or a shadow box fence.
As an example, if you or your fence company were building a three hundred linear foot fence you would need approximately 655 pickets for a side by side fence. We’ll make it an even 700 pickets to account for imperfections. Using current 2022 pricing a six foot dog eared picket can be purchased for $2.08. The same cedar picket can be purchased for $3.72. So total cost for pine pickets alone would cost $1456.00. The equivalent cedar pickets would surprising cost exactly $2604.00. The pine pickets would be a 44% savings or an $1148.00 difference. At this point you would probably need more information to make an informed decision as to whether or not the difference in cost makes sense for your needs. Now that you have a better idea of the cost difference, we’ll look at the properties of pine vs the other most popular option, cedar.
The above example is for the average size subdivision type of residential property in DFW. If you have a property to cover that might easily be four times that number of pickets, you can do the math. The bigger the fence the more significant the difference. Bigger could also include a taller fence which can add an additional 33% total cost for say an eight foot tall fence. The bigger the fence the more those pine pickets start to make sense. At this point if you want see our opinion on a whole CEDAR VS PINE FENCE debate you can check out our other blog post. The remainder of this article will address pickets only.
Both treated pine pickets and cedar pickets are both highly resistant to rot, insects, and weather. Cedar is naturally resistant due to its natural tannin oils. Treated wood is processed to give it the same properties. Both are time tested materials you can count on for quality fencing materials. These are very important properties and facts. Cedar is a lightweight wood that will put less weight on the structure of a fence. Treated pine can be very heavy especially when wet. Both pickets can be stained but the treated pine will probably take months to dry. You want to wait until wood has a minimum moisture content of 12% before staining. You will often have the option of a limited number (normally 1) of pre-stained cedar fence pickets. This is not the case with a treated pine picket. Pine will have more of a natural look while cedar will be reddish in color.
The biggest difference between the two pickets other than price is going to be the stability of a cedar picket. Cedar pickets will have very little shrinkage, which is why they are optimal for a board on board fence. Cedar will have very little warping, cupping, cracking, and shrinkage. A pressure treated pine picket is prone to shrinkage, warping, cupping, and cracking. This doesn’t mean a treated pine fence is going to look unsatisfactory when done or even months or years down the road. It just means you are going to see some movement and imperfections. Cedar is not a perfect product either as they are both natural products and this is what makes them so absolutely beautiful.
If you have anymore questions about the differences feel free to give us a call.
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