composite fencing

Composite fence features, installation, and differences with wood fence

What is composite fencing?

Composite fences are manufactured by mixing and processing real wood with recycled plastic to create an eco-friendly, and durable alternative to standard fencing.

Wood fencing able to complement a variety of landscaping styles had no competition to date until fairly recently, but the composite fence has offered an appealing alternative.

Here is a brief rundown of features, pros, and cons, and an installation guide, and differences with traditional wood fences.

Features of composite fencing

Installation Cost

Cost plays important role in deciding the fencing type for your space. Standard wood fences are cheaper to install than their composite counterparts.

The significantly longer service life of wood composite makes them much affordable over time by delivering a lower cost of ownership.

With a minimum service lifespan of 15-20 years, the composite fence is the ultimate cost-effective fencing option to choose.

Maintenance

Composite fences hold up better when exposed to weather, UV rays, and other environmental conditions it has very little or no maintenance. As traditional wood fencing requires frequent repainting, repair for better maintenance. Whereas in the case of composite fencing just occasional wash down with water will do work for you.

Durable

Composite fences have high resistance against other environmental factors such as insects, mold, and termites. This makes composite fences a durable fencing solution that can easily last around 15 to 20 years.

Eco-Friendly

As composite fences are mostly made from recycled materials makes this is one of the eco-friendly fencing solutions.

Aesthetic Appealing

Engineering in different ways composite fences can be made available in different textures and varieties resembling the wood. Styles and varieties among composite materials mesh with your overall exterior including landscapes gardens porches. These features not only make composite fences more aesthetically pleasing but also help to increase your property’s resale value.

Pros and Cons of Composite fencing

Pros of composite fence

  • Easy installation requires minimum effort and installation cost.
  • Often made from recycled material make it an eco-friendly fencing option.
  • Durable as composite fence boards have plastic is can easily last for a longer period without worrying about frequent maintenance.
  • Availability of a variety of colors, finishing, and texture make it a convenient fence to choose from over any other type of fencing.
  • Temporary installation is possible in the spaces where you have future construction plans.

Cons of composite fence

  • Composite fences are slightly expensive than any other fencing option.
  • They can be warped expanded or shrunk by harsh weather.
  • Exposure to extreme rays, the sun may bleach the color out of the material.
  • If any of the fence boards gets damaged then it is nearly impossible to get the same-colored fence board to match the faded fence. This can leave your fence looking like a major unmatched eyesore.

Difference between composite and wood fences

Composite FenceWood Fence
Durable and don’t need frequent repaint or stainingLess durable and need often repair and staining
Resistant to decay and rot, mold, termitesNot resistant to weather conditions and can be easily attacked by mold and termites.
Comes in a variety of textures and colorsComes with limited textures and colors
Very little maintenance is requiredMaintenance need to often repair and stain
Expensive to install than wood fencesCheaper as compared to composite fence
Don’t need to apply a water sealerAs the surface of the wood fence has a porous grain structure annual or semi-annual  
Impossible to sand out scratches, fading, or stainsEasy to sand out any scratches, fading, or stains
As mostly made from recycled material it makes it eco friendlyAs made from real wood it makes it environmentally unfriendly
Difficult to get exactly matching style and texture in the composite fence.Wood fences can complement a variety of different homes and landscaping styles  

Composite Fencing Installation

Parts of Composite fencing

1. Line Post- Standard post for straight-line installation.

2. High strength post- This post is designed for a fence taller than 6 feet. When the post is bolted onto the post base. Its thicker walls ensure a stronger junction between the post and post base

3. Corner/ Gate Post- These posts have more thickness as it is used at the corner or for gate installation.

Tools required for composite fence installation

The following tools are required for installation a shovel, a tape, measuring a spirit level, a rubber mallet and you might also require a hacksaw, marking chalk, or spray, and a straight line.

Stepwise installation of composite fencing

STEP 1: FENCEPOST IS INSTALLED

Composite fence installation starts by installing fence posts straight, and vertically parallel to each other. Holes are dug using a shovel or pile screw machine. There are three ways to install posts as follows.

Composite fence post bolted on the concrete slab
1st Way- Post bolted on the concrete slab

This is a standard method of composite fence installation. This technique offers a strong post-installation that can hold maximum pressure.

Steps

  1. Drill holes in concrete
  2. Insert and leave 1” of the anchor off the slab.
  3. Bolt the post base on concrete.
  4. Level the post base by putting washers or metal shims.
  5. Put the base cap to cover bolts before installing fence boards.
Composite fence bolted on steel pile
2nd Way- Post Bolted on a steel Pile

Steps

  1. Bolt the post on the steel pile with base bolts.
  2. Level the post base using some washers and shims.
  3. Put the cap base.
3rd Way- Post bolted on a screw pile

This installation method is suitable when you want to post to be removable in the future. This can be used for space where you want to fence temporarily and want to allow further construction in the future. 

Composite fence post bolted on screw pile

Steps

  1. Pile is a screw inside the soil with post base on upside.
  2. Bolt the post on the steel pile with base bolts.
  3. Level the post base using some washers and shims.
  4. Put the cap base before installing fence boards.

STEP 2: BOTTOM BEAM IS INSTALLED

bottom beam installation

Step two of installation of the post bottom beam begins by placing the bottom beam between the two fence posts with the flat face facing down next slides the rail to the floor, while doing so make sure it lays flat on the ground.

The main three parts of the composite fencing other than the fence post are the bottom beam, fence boards, top beam. Each of those three parts should be cut to a suitable length.

Make sure the distance between two posts is optimum and does not exceed. After the fence posts have been installed properly, the actual installation of the fence section takes place.

The bottom beam is installed horizontally with a flat face facing down. It needs to make sure it lays flat on the ground for better stability.

STEP 3: FENCE BOARDS ARE SLIDE

fence board installation

This step starts with placing composite fence panels between the two fence posts. The first fence panel is slide between two posts with the notch section of the panel going facedown while the extruded side goes face-up.

The panel is sliding all the way to the bottom with the notched part of the panel must slide into the bottom aluminum rail and being locked into place. Similarly, the remainder of the panels are slide with each one sliding down and locking into place.

STEP 4: TOP BEAM AND POST CAP IS PLACED

top beam installation

Installing the top beam or cover strips are optional and are used to cover the fence ends. These are simply placed at each end of the fence post and slide all the way down. If the cover strips are too long and stick out you might have to trim them using a hacksaw step.

post cap installation

Installation of composite fence end by placing a post cap on top of each of the fence posts. Caps are slightly fitted into the post and gently tap them into place using a rubber mallet. Repeat this for each fence post.

Final words

However, fences can be made from several other materials and still provide the same benefits to property owners such as creating a visible boundary, increasing security, and providing privacy. To determine which type of fencing is preferable comes down to evaluating a couple of key factors like installation cost, durability, personal tastes, lifestyle, and ease of maintenance.

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