How to Choose the Best Type of Wood for your Fence

There are many options when it comes to wood fences. Based on your needs and budget, you can find out how to choose the best type of wood for your fence.
Jimmy Soldatos
Jimmy Soldatos
Last Update:
August 16, 2022

There are many options when it comes to wood fences. Based on your needs and budget, you can find out how to choose the best type of wood for your fence - or perhaps even a hybrid fence type like wood and metal. It's helpful to understand both the different types of wood as well as parts of a fence. To start off, we'll go over some common options for types of fence wood.

Wood Types


Spruce is an affordable choice. It should be taken into account that spruce doesn't do well in damp or moist climates and is prone to warping. It does better in drier climates but is still only expected to last 4-7 years if it hasn't been pressure treated.


Cedar is a solid option. It's generally strong and can last around 15 or more years. This is due to the oils that are within the wood that help make it more resistant to rotting and insect infestation.


Pine is also a more affordable option when it comes to fences. However, it doesn't last as long as redwood or cedar. It typically lasts around 5-12 years.


Redwood is a popular option for many reasons. It's strong and naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation. It's also one of the more aesthetically pleasing options as well. While redwood is more expensive, understanding the distinctions among redwood grades allows you to make an informed decision that ensures the perfect balance between quality, longevity, and aesthetic appeal for your home.


It's important to consider what style of fence you'll be getting and what you need it for. If it's going to be in an area that's prone to moisture, you'll want a stronger wood that's resistant to rot.

If you're going to get a fence with a nice design, then it's also important to use higher quality wood. There isn't a point in spending more money on a beautifully designed fence only to have it rot away and fall over after a few years.


Budget is an important factor for deciding what kind of wood you should use. However, it's not as clear cut as it might seem.

While cheaper kinds of wood might save you money in the short term, you have to keep in mind that they don't last as long as more expensive options like cedar and redwood.

So while it might be cheaper to get it installed today, you'll most likely need to replace the fence sooner, and possibly end up spending more in the long run.

Redwood and cedar are naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation. Because of their resilience, they're definitely worth the cost.

A proper installation will also help your fence last longer. Trying to cut corners on installation costs will not pay off in the long run. A professional installer will use best practices when it comes to extending the life of your fence.

That can range from using pressure-treated posts, using cement in the post holes, or using kickboards and retaining walls to prevent the pickets from getting too much moisture.

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