Last Updated: May 14, 2019
There are many reasons to purchase a vinyl fence – beauty, color, strength, durability, lack of maintenance – but finding the perfect vinyl fencing system can be tricky. We aren’t starved for selection these days, but that doesn’t make shopping any easier. In fact, the variety is often overwhelming. Although it may be tempting to make a slapdash decision, you won’t regret researching your options a bit in order to make a more careful and considered choice. Ready to get started? Scroll down to learn how to choose vinyl fencing.
How to Choose Vinyl Fencing
Avoid the big-box stores.
Lowe’s, Home Depot, and other major hardware stores stock vinyl fences for their customers’ convenience. Although these fences are often affordable and well-advertised, they lack quality. Plus, you won’t receive expert advice; the “sales expert” at a big-box store may be an employee they pulled in from the garden department. To put it simply: you get what you pay for! If you want a strong and durable vinyl fence, shop at a retailer that specializes in vinyl fencing and can help you figure out how to choose vinyl fencing that fits your needs and budget.
Check the credentials of the dealer and manufacturer.
If you purchase your vinyl fence from a reputable dealer and a reliable manufacturer, it’s hard to go wrong. Even if these companies make a mistake, you can feel confident that, once notified, they will work fervently to fix the issue. Look for companies that are well-established and have excellent reviews.
Review the product’s warranty.
Be sure to review the product’s warranty. Because vinyl is such a long-lasting product, you may need to replace or repair components of the fence as the years go by, and hopefully, you’ll be able to do so with a handy warranty. The peace of mind that a warranty offers is indispensable.
At MMC Fencing & Railing, all of our vinyl fencing systems come with a transferable, lifetime-limited warranty from Digger Specialties, Inc. It warrants that all vinyl materials are free of defects in workmanship and that, in the course of normal and proper use, all vinyl materials will not peel, blister, flake, rot, corrode, rust, be damaged by termites, or be subject to abnormal weathering per ASTM F-964 specifications.
Look for virgin vinyl fencing.
Vinyl is made primarily from polyvinylchloride, or PVC. To ensure that you’re receiving a professional-grade fence, look for vinyl fencing systems made of virgin PVC. The alternative is recycled vinyl, which is probably not what you think it is.
Unlike other recycled items, recycled vinyl is new. It’s just not made from a single source of the raw material; instead, in the case of vinyl fencing, it’s typically made from scraps of vinyl left over from other products. So although recyclable items are wonderful in many contexts, they do not provide the best quality material for fences. Most professional fencing manufacturers only offer virgin vinyl because recycled vinyl has a tendency to grow mold and mildew. If you’ve ever spotted vinyl with dark spots, it was likely made of recycled plastics instead of virgin vinyl.
If you want your fence to be strong, resistant to weather, and beautiful for years to come, you will need professional-grade, virgin vinyl fencing. Don’t be fooled by a cheaper, recycled alternative.
Pay attention to sizes and thicknesses.
One way to identify a cheap, shoddy fencing product is to examine the component sizes and wall thicknesses. To lower the cost of a product, sometimes manufacturers will make “economy” products that are smaller and thinner, lowering the fence’s durability and quality. A substandard product like this won’t withstand impacts and is not worth your time or money. Luckily, most companies refuse to sell these thin, weak products, so it’s unlikely that you’ll come across them as you shop for your fence.
Carefully select your design.
Vinyl is a very flexible fencing material that lends itself to a wide variety of designs. Many people gravitate toward vinyl due to its ability to mimic wooden fences; however, you can also find more modern styles. To find the perfect vinyl fencing system for your needs, explore all the design options available:
- Height: Most fencing systems are available in a few different heights, potentially ranging from 48″ to 96″. Some common railing heights are 48″, 60″, 72″, 84″, and 96″.
- Privacy: Some fences reach nearly down to the ground, while others are raised up a bit. In addition, some vinyl fences are solid sections, providing complete privacy and blocking the wind. Others have spaces between the pickets, allowing for ventilation and a more open feel. Consider your privacy concerns, the impact on ventilation, and the aesthetics.
- Shape: The shape of the top of the fence will affect its appearance dramatically. You could have a straight-topped fence, straight pickets that jut out along the fence, pickets that rise to varying heights in a curve, a latticework top, and more.
Look for a complementary color.
Finally, you will need to look at the colors and textures available so that you can find a product that complements the surrounding structures and landscape. Most people are familiar with white fencing, which mimics white-painted wood. Typically vinyl fences are available in one or two other standard, neutral, light-colored tones as well, such as tan or sierra. In addition, vinyl fences come in different textures. Some are smooth and glossy, while others have a fabricated woodgrain texture. Review all of your options before you make a commitment.
If you’re interested in adding a vinyl fence to your property, be sure to check out the selection offered at MMC Fencing & Railing. You might be interested in our PolyVinyl or PolyRail fencing systems. Both of these options are affordable, beautiful, and virtually maintenance-free. Plus, all of our vinyl fencing systems come with a transferable lifetime limited warranty! To get started, please visit our online store, request a quote, or give us a call at 1-866-931-5002. Our fencing experts would be happy to help you learn how to choose vinyl fencing.