Chicago Fence Contractors

Residential & Commercial

What Is The Best Wood For Fences?

Published on May 31st, 2023

Determining the best wood fence materials will be influenced by factors such as your budget, geographical location, personal style preferences, and other considerations. Check out our comprehensive guide where we break down the pros and cons to each variety of wood.

A Guide to Long-Lasting Beauty

Redwood, cedar, and pressure treated pine are the most durable options for wood fences. Cedar has a lifespan of 15 to 30 years, but can reach up to 40 years if it is treated. Redwood, on the other hand, has an average lifespan of about 25 years. Lastly, treated pine can last approximately 20 years in various fence styles, including split rail and lattice fences.

When it comes to installing a wooden fence, selecting the right type of wood is crucial for achieving a balance between curb appeal and durability. The choice of wood not only affects the overall look of your fence but also determines its lifespan and resistance to environmental factors. With an array of high quality options available, it’s essential to understand the characteristics of different types of wood to make an informed decision.


Known for its natural beauty and resistance to rot and insect infestation, cedar is a popular choice for wood fences. Cedar has natural oils that act as preservatives, providing protection against decay and moisture damage. It is relatively lightweight, making it easier to work with during installation.

Cedar wood also possesses natural tannins that enhance its durability. While it may require regular maintenance, such as staining and sealing, a well-maintained cedar fence can last for many years, providing a timeless and elegant appearance to any property.


Redwood is another excellent option for a long-lasting and visually appealing fence. Like cedar, redwood contains natural oils and tannins that make it insect-resistant and rot-resistant. It has a distinct reddish hue that adds warmth and character to your fence project.

Redwood is durable and performs well even in harsh weather conditions. Regular maintenance, such as applying a protective sealant, can further extend its lifespan, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of a redwood fence for decades.

Pressure-Treated Pine

For those seeking a cost-effective option without compromising durability, pressure-treated lumber is worth considering. Pressure-treated pine undergoes a treatment process that involves infusing the wood with preservatives, making it resistant to decay, insects, and rot. The pressure treatment enhances its durability, also making it suitable for fence posts that are in direct contact with the ground.

While pressure-treated pine may not have the natural beauty of cedar or redwood, it can be stained or painted to match your desired aesthetic. With proper maintenance, including regular inspections for any signs of wear and tear, a pressure-treated pine fence can provide a long lifespan at an affordable price point.


Cypress is a highly durable wood that offers natural resistance to rot, decay, and insects. It has a distinct pale yellow to light brown color, providing a unique and rustic charm to any fence. Cypress is known for its stability, which makes it less likely to warp or shrink over time. This quality is especially valuable in regions with varying weather conditions.

While cypress can be more expensive than other wood options, its exceptional durability and resistance to environmental factors make it a wise long-term investment.

What is the Best Wood for Fence Posts?

When selecting fence posts, the choice of material is crucial for durability and stability. Pressure-treated wood, known for its resistance to moisture, rot, and insects, is a top choice due to its chemical infusion that wards off decay, especially for ground contact.

This type of wood, when properly installed and well-maintained, offers a robust foundation for fences, with a lifespan that can extend over 20 to 30 years. Proper maintenance includes routine inspections, timely repair of damages, and the application of a protective coating to ensure longevity.

For a modern twist, consider incorporating black aluminum or galvanized structural steel posts, which add a stylish and sturdy alternative to the traditional wood option, blending aesthetics with functionality.

Choose a Reputable Fence Installation Contractor

To build an attractive fence that adds value to your property, consider the various types of fence wood and how they might fit your specific needs. This will help you create a fence that stands the test of time and remains beautiful while doing so.

Remember to consult with a professional fence installation company for guidance tailored to your unique requirements. They can offer expert advice and help you select the best fencing wood for your project. Additionally, a reputable fence company will provide you with specific information on various fence designs, ensuring a successful and enduring investment.

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