When it comes time to install a fence for your home, you're usually going to make a choice between wood and vinyl. While both options have different pros, it’s important to have all the information you need to make an informed decision for your home.” If you're interested in purchasing a new wood fence in Orlando, FL, there are a few things you should be made aware of.

Don’t Believe the Cedar Hype

Many want cedar, however, there are no native cedars in the Americas. We're so used to woods being called cedars, they're just commonly described that way by stores who have no idea what they're really selling. Usually, what we call "cedar" is actually cypress, but you never really know for sure. If somehow you are able to find cedar, there are several different types of wood which fall under that name. Depending on where you live, the cedar might be called Eastern White or Western Red, but even these are relatively arbitrary descriptors of different species of wood.

Why Cedar and Florida Just Don’t Mix

Many want the decay resistant properties of real cedar. However, this is a characteristic to be found mostly in the heartwood of cedar and is not as present in second growth or sapwood cedar. So if you were to purchase a cedar wood fence in Orlando, FL, not only is it likely you're not actually purchasing a cedar fence, it's even less likely the "cedar" you're buying will have the decay resistant properties which made it a popular wood to begin with. Living in Florida, where a thunderstorm is likely to rage without warning and disappear as suddenly as it appeared, rapid weather changes can speed up the decay process in “cedar” fences.

Alternatives to Cedar

Cypress is a wood that is natural to Florida, so it's suited to withstand the dramatic changes in the weather without warping or changing color. Like natural cedar, cypress is resistant to decay and termites, but without containing the naturally occurring toxicity of cedar. Another lovely wood alternative is pressure-treated pine. When properly treated, pine can last a lifetime, and most companies provide a warranty protecting your pine fence from termite infestations. Also, you may not be aware how much vinyl fences can be made to resemble wood. Coming in a variety of styles and colors, vinyl is incredibly durable and requires practically no maintenance.

When it comes to purchasing a fence for your home, you want to know what you're getting. With cedar, that's often not the case. That's why you're probably better off choosing cypress, pine, or vinyl for your fence.