Pine vs Hardwood Debate

Hey guys, I wanted to touch base with you and let you in on a bit of a typical fencing question I get asked all the time, “should I go with pine or should I go with hardwood timber fencing?”

There is no simple answer to this question because we all have different needs and lifestyles and the reason for the fence may vary from customer to customer so it is a bit like the age old question “how long is a piece of string?” and as we all know, the answer to that is “it all depends”…

Lets look at the pros and cons of each style of fencing individually to you get a better understanding as to the differences between the two different mediums…

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Pine…

Price wise:- Cheaper option to save you money upfront

Durability:- Not particularly good, pine is known to twist and buckle aggressively as the material dries out…

Strength:- Inferior strength and when dried out will break quite easily

Tips and Tricks:- Like any material you leave outside in the elements it will begin to break down and deteriorate so to prolong this process you can maintain a protective membrane around the timber to keep the water out and therefore increase the lifespan a little longer…

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Hardwood…

Price:- Hardwood is a little more expensive than the pine option

Durability:- Hardwood fencing is a much more durable timber, it does shrink a little and twist a minute amount when it dries out but not overly excessive.
Strength:- Hardwood fencing is a very strong timber and will definitely put up with quite a lot of punishment so it passes the strength test with flying colours.

Tips and tricks:- Hardwood is pretty bullet proof in a manner of speaking however you could always extend the life of your hardwood fence by painting it as you would pine or hit it up with an oil and let the dry timber soak it up to give you more life… You can also pick a tint in your oil these days so you would effectively be making it look brand new again…

So what’s the verdict?

You asked for it so here it is:-

Pine fencing is a great cheap option when you are on a limited budget and need to get a fence up fast with a minimal initial outlay, a lot of people who own rental properties also tend to trend towards this option as it meets their budget. Pine for a long term fencing option is not the best choice as it is higher in maintenance as you will need to protect it with paint every 12 – 18 months which is not that bad as long as you don’t give up on it and put in in the too hard basket.

What you save in the short term by going with pine you no doubt lose in the long run with consumable to paint the fence and loss of your time required to undertake such a large task. (I haven’t met anyone yet that enjoys painting for some reason?)

Hardwood will cost you a tad more straight away but in my opinion is a far superior fence with a longer life span, greater resistance to the elements and far better resistance to little critters like termites who love nothing more than munching on some nice soft timber. Your maintenance with a hardwood fence is way less than that of a pine fence and is far more forgiving when the kids are kicking the soccer ball up against it, and let’s face it this is going to happen!

My money is on hardwood any day of the week! Pay a little for the fence initially but save save save in the long run and if you ask me which I would rather do, paint a fence or go for a fish and surf on the weekend, then you can lay safe you will find me down on the beach!

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