For many of us owning a home is the single largest investment we will make in our lifetime. Anytime you are considering a home improvement project, it is important to know whether that project will increase the value of your home. When it comes to wood fencing, a cedar fence is well worth the cost.
To understand why, we should begin with where Cedar traditionally comes from. Most Cedar products come from the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, most cedar varieties come from the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is known as a temperate rainforest. Some areas in this region receive over 120” of rainfall a year combined with below-freezing temperatures in the winter. Due to the climate, Cedar is the perfect lumber for outdoor use.
Cedar is a porous lumber that allows moisture to enter the wood and dry out quickly. The porosity also makes it a great sound absorber for those of us living near busy roadways.
In addition to its porosity, Cedar has natural oils known as Phenols. The trees produce these to prevent insect infestation. These oils are also what produce the beautiful red color and aroma of Cedar. The aroma of Cedar oil is known to prevent most beetle infestations such as moths or termites. When lumber yards chemically treat pine they are actually trying to imitate the natural oils in Cedar. Mother Nature always does it the best however and most of us would rather not introduce man-made chemicals into the yard our children and pets play in.
The porosity, density, and natural oils in Cedar also make it the most stable lumber you can use for an outdoor environment. Cedar is far less susceptible to warping, bowing, or cupping. The oils are a huge factor in this but it is also due to the drying process in Cedar. Cedar dries out evenly unlike other lumber products. Cedar’s ability to dry out evenly makes it a much more stable board than treated pine.
Unlike Treated Pine, Cedar leaves the mill yards relatively dry which means it is ready to stain very soon after installation. Staining the fence will prevent the greying of the boards over time. It will also aid the natural chemicals in Cedar to deal with moisture, insects, and temperature changes.
Cedar is one of the most affordable lumber products available. While Treated Pine is slightly less expensive, the cost savings are not in line with the value. Treated Pine has a variety of construction applications that increase its price relative to other lumber products.
All these benefits come down to aesthetics and longevity. A Draper Installed Cedar fence will last 20-25 years. The first point of failure on a well-installed fence is where the post meets the ground. As water runs off the post to the ground it can create a low spot in the dirt where water pools. The pooling of water around the base of the post can cause rot. However, all that needs to be done is simply add some dirt so the water properly runs off the post into the yard. If this is done there is no doubt a Cedar fence will last 2 decades.
Of course, when determining whether or not to add a fence to your yard you have to consider what is the fence’s purpose. A Cedar fence can offer privacy, security, and beautification to your outdoor space. As Robert Frost said, “Good fences make good neighbors.” A Cedar fence offers you the privacy to enjoy your yard and property however you see fit. When we let the kids or pets into the yard we want to know they are secure. A Cedar fence accomplishes the job. The beautiful red coloration and aroma of Cedar is the perfect complement to a garden or flower bed giving you a nice private slice of the Great Outdoors. It can create the perfect environment for a relaxing summer evening on your deck or porch. When you combine the natural beauty, defenses, and purpose of Cedar fencing with its longevity you have a sound investment for any outdoor space.