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Old 04-16-2020, 06:59 PM
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Privacy Fence



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I've got a privacy fence that needs replacing. Choice is treated pine or cedar. Cedar is more expensive of course. Is it really worth the price difference?


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Old 04-16-2020, 07:02 PM
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In my opinion cedar is the way to go. It is more weather resistant and stable that pine. If taken care of you can get 10 to 15 years depending on climate.

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Old 04-16-2020, 07:27 PM
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Cedar. But I would rather have a privacy moat. Also I did some work with pressure treated and didn't wear gloves and got really sick.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:46 PM
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Counting 3 gates we had 102 yds of 6'H cedar privacy fence put in. cha-ching! The old one wasn't a privacy fence but was cedar and it was over 20 yrs old when replaced. No more deer n rabbits eating shrubs nor skunks digging grubs.
IMO it looks better with framework facing inward even though much of it is covered in vines. YMMV Brent.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mals9 View Post
In my opinion cedar is the way to go. It is more weather resistant and stable that pine. If taken care of you can get 10 to 15 years depending on climate.

Mals
Seconded. Cedar IS worth the extra.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:52 PM
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How long do you plan to live at your current house?
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:53 PM
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I'd go with the pressure treated pine. We built a lot of new fences and decks, and tore down and replaced a lot of rotted one; the worse rot in decks, fences, siding and outside trim was cedar, with redwood next. Occasionally you'll get a PT pine board that will rot too, but overall what I've seen is PT lasting much longer.

My back porch/stoop and steps are built of pressure treated pine, that I brought home from a several years old deck and fence that we replaced with brick columns and new treated wooden panels of greater height than the original. I built the steps/small porch in 1998 and nothing has rotted as of now; with wood that was already outdoors and exposed for an unknown to me time.

(I also brought home from the same job the white painted wooden kitchen cabinets that we tore out and replaced with a beautiful new set of hickory cabinets with some expensive countertops, corian I think, and used quite a few sections and pieces adding to the amount of kitchen cabinets in our house. Just had to buy new tops. But that's another story.) Scrounged all the usable tear out and leftover materials I could get my hands on. Poor peoples got poor ways.
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:07 PM
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Teak ? Black locust ? Lignum Vitae ? Plain ol' barb wire , or , razor wire ?
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:27 PM
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Posts and frame need to be treated pine. Cedar rots with ground contact. Rough sawn Cedar is very nice for the fabric, dimensionally stable when compared to water soaked treated pine and will last a long time in the air. Both weather to a soft grey. Don't purchase the pre-fab stuff from Lowes/Home Depot. Cheap, thin with poor fasteners. Cedar is nicer to work with and looks better. But, the main factor is looks. Be forewarned that treated wood needs to be stacked neatly and installed promptly and securely or it can warp up like a bundle of snakes. If you use treated pine for the fabric make sure the top and bottom don't extend much past the rails or the tops and bottoms will warp. We use three runs of rails, bottom, top and not quite 1/2 way up. That keeps the center of the boards from warping as well. The rail side can be climbed, the smooth side not. Have fun. I need 1/2 mile of fencing put up at the farm...come on when you get finished. 1917
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:31 PM
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The best fence i ever built had steel posts cement footings and 6 foot pt in a shadow box pattern. Between the steel posts i hung pt 2 x4s. With no place for moisture to accumulate it has looked like new for 20 years.

On another fence i used pt posts and cement, and then cedar to sheath the whole affair.

The cedar one is prettier , but require more maintenance, annual spraying with preservatives, and replacement parts.
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:39 PM
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Either, But

I would go with the steel post / pipe in the ground at least 24". Can be cement or well packed gravel but will not have the rotting problems at the point to worry about the most. Than either of the two woods will hold up well. Some have used treated cross pieces between the posts and cedar on upright slats. Just make sure any screws or nails into treated wood are coated for that use, otherwise they rust out pretty fast. If your wood posts you have now are still good above ground, my dad stubbed all of the good ones with shortened steel. A little cheaper, especially if you will be selling and do not thing you can recapture the cost of the fence. Randy

ps Toomany22s beat me to it. Yea to his!!!
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:10 PM
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Cedar and treat it. My 30 year old treated fir posts are pushing 35 years now.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:53 PM
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We put up a privacy fence 4 years ago. Budgeted out on the treated pine and now wish we had spent the extra for cedar. We replace 7 - 8 pickets a year that are split, warped, curled or otherwise esthetically in pleasing. Plus the restraining every 4 - 5 years. Cedar naturally ages to a real nice silver grey.


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Old 04-16-2020, 11:00 PM
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Some words of experience

Save yourself a lot of future trouble if you plan to stay where you are long term. Wind pressure tends to finish off rotten posts and knock down old fences while the rest of the fence is still serviceable. Buy scrap galvanized 2 or 3 inch well pipe from a junk yard, paint it and have it installed in concrete. There are brackets available to attach the horizontal 2x4 wood runners to the posts that look like the top of a scope ring. Wood that stays out of the ground is going to last a long time no matter what you choose to use and minor repairs will be much easier if you don't have to dig up concrete to replace posts! Often you can reuse the pickets from your old fence if you are able to pry them apart from the 2x4s or even better, you can just use the pre assembled panels again as modular sections you attach to your "new" fence skeleton made with steel posts and new 2x4 cross pieces with a replaceable 12 inch redwood grass strip at the bottom. You can also buy metal brackets that keep the 4x4 out of the ground. This means you can often cut off and reuse the posts section by cutting off the rotten section from the ground. I repaired a broken gate post that cracked off right at the concrete by cutting the rotten section off, digging up the concrete, bolting on a new bottom from another half rotten post using 1/2 inch bolts and setting it back into the ground with the "new" bottom. I used a level to help position the post and tamped it into place with a steel bar. This saved me a lot of time and no concrete was needed.

Avoid toe nail construction techniques on new fences or repairs when attaching wood 4x4 posts and the 2x4 runners. Runners always rot fastest at the angled nail holes and are a common point of failure for a fence section. Instead, use screw attached steel angle brackets. That will make sure the fence will last a lot longer if you do use wood posts. Posts set in concrete always rot out fastest. If you are in a higher rain area, you will see rotten out posts quicker, in dry areas slower. A 2005 home I worked on has a lot of rotten fence posts that all need to come out now because they were set in concrete that caused the wood to rot quickly. To reuse the existing fence sections that were cut for that spacing you would have to dig up the concrete to put posts back in the same places needed for the panels and even if you could just replace the posts, the ends of the 2x4s will require the steel brackets for secure attachment due to end rot at the nail holes. I drove in some steel posts to keep the fence up temporarily for now after the wind knocked it over, but it's got to all be rebuilt. Wood set directly in the ground lasts longer without concrete but it takes longer to tamp and set the posts that way so nobody does that when they are in a hurry. My dad set some green treated into the ground of our ranch in the 80s. Some are pretty much all termite eaten inside, others are still fairly solid in the ground. They were not set in concrete and out lasted the pressure treated posts set in concrete of the 2005 home by decades..... Use redwood for the bottom strip or a 1/8 thick metal panel if you want it to last for the rest of your life. Redwood often outlasts common 4x4 posts in fencing and can often be reused during fence repairs.

I'm not a professional fence guy, but I have worked on several broken fences of different homes and ranch fencing. The failure patterns are fairly common and predictable. I hope some of my rambling post is helpful. rc
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:12 AM
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Forgot one thing in my posting: we always used 5/4 x 6 (1"x5-1/2") premium decking for the fences, not one bys. Unless things have changed since 2012, it's very difficult to get any good 3/4" thick treated, it's knotty, cupped, warped, bowed, split, etc.
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