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What are the Advantages of Wooden Fence Posts?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The most commonly used material for fencing has historically been wood, though as more options become available, fewer and fewer fences are made of wood. Like any other material, wooden fence posts and other wooden fencing materials have their advantages and disadvantages, though for most applications at home, wooden fence posts will work out perfectly to enhance the aesthetic of a yard and provide a sturdy support for fence panels. Wooden fence posts are also easier than other materials to install, since the posts can be cut to length after installation should the measurements of the post be off for any reason.

Perhaps the best material for wooden fence posts is cedar, since it is naturally water and mold resistant. Cedar is also visibly beautiful, and it can also be quite fragrant. Aside from aesthetics, cedar is less likely to warp since it is resistant to moisture, and it is less likely to rot quickly for the same reason. Cedar is more expensive than other types of woods, however, and while cedar does not initially need to be stained or painted, it may need to be painted after several years since it is prone to fading in direct sunlight.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Unlike vinyl posts, wooden fence posts are quite forgiving during installation. If the post is installed incorrectly — it is too tall, perhaps — it can be cut to length after the concrete footing has set. Vinyl posts are prefabricated, as are most metal posts, meaning the height of the post cannot be adjusted easily. Affixing fence panels to wooden fence posts is also quite simple, which is an advantage over vinyl posts that are prefabricated to tight tolerances that must be adhered to during installation. Wooden posts can also be shimmed easily if the distance between two posts is greater than it should be.

The aesthetic of a wooden fence can also be changed quite easily by painting or staining. Wooden fence posts should be treated with a water resistant chemical first, and on top of that, the fence posts can be further protected from the elements by painting or staining. Waterproof and water-resistant paints and stains are easily found at hardware or paint stores, and one can choose what color or what hue of stain he or she wants for the fence. A wooden post can be repainted often to change the look of the fence. While this is certainly an advantage, painting the posts can also be a disadvantage, as they usually need repainting every few years to keep from looking worn or dilapidated.

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