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Vinyl fencing is a good option in coastal climates.

If you’re in the market for a new fence, Coastal Home Pros can help you navigate the choices and design the fence that meets your needs and complements your property.

CHOOSING YOUR FENCING MATERIAL

Choosing a fencing material is an important first step when installing a fence. When choosing materials, we recommend considering the following:

Function

Why are you building a fence? The function of your fence will often dictate its form. If you need to contain animals, you’ll want to consider height, sturdiness, and the spacing of any pickets or slats. Searching for privacy or noise reduction? A lightweight aluminum fence won’t meet your needs – look for wood or vinyl options with wide and tall slats. If you need privacy, look for taller wooden or vinyl slats with very narrow gaps.

Many of our customers here in sunny Florida need fencing around a pool. Pool fences are often governed by municipal regulations and building codes – do a little research or ask us for help! Your Coastal Home Pros fencing contractor can help you think through your fencing options and choose the best material for your job.

Style

What do you want your fence to look like? Chain link is relatively inexpensive, but it’s utilitarian appearance may not blend with the aesthetics of your home and neighborhood. White picket fences evoke a certain old-fashioned charm that works well with traditional homes and cottages. Wrought iron conveys a sense of grandeur that’s perfect for larger homes. Other metal options – including aluminum and steel – have a sleek look that works well with modern homes. Treated-wood and vinyl fences have broad appeal and flexible design options.

At Coastal Home Pros, we can customize your fence to accommodate your personal style. Shadowboxing and scalloped profiles are some of our most popular choices. We can offer these styles in both wood and vinyl options.

Picket fences are a popular fence choice for many homeowners.
Scalloped picket fences are a popular choice for many of our customers.

Budget

Coastal Home Pros offers a wide range of fencing options at various price points. We encourage our customers to consider not just the up-front cost, but the ongoing maintenance costs as well. Our coastal Florida climate presents some unique challenges for fence maintenance. At Coastal Home Pros, we’ve had years of experience in this area. We can help you think through your options and make the right choice for your budget. 

FENCING MATERIALS COMPARISON

Treated Wood Fencing

Pressure- or chemically-treated wood fencing is very common across the United States. Treated wood resists damage from both insects and moisture, and it is usually an economical choice. Flexible configurations and design options make this a popular option. 

Things to consider: Treated wood fences often look best when painted or stained. This adds maintenance costs, but will help extend the life of your fence. Treated wood pickets and slats are prone to warping and twisting. Using a reliable fencing contractor with expert local knowledge can help mitigate this issue. At Coastal Home Pros, we select our wood carefully to avoid this issue. 

Wood fences need proper maintenance, including paint or stain that is re-applied annually or semi-annually.
Wood fences perform best when they are stained or painted, especially in our moist coastal climate.

Cedar

Cedar is known for it’s beauty and hardiness. It doesn’t warp or shrink, and it has a natural resistance to insects and decay. Left untreated, cedar will weather to a beautiful silvery gray, though the original reddish brown hue can be maintained by applying a penetrating sealer. 

Things to consider: Cedar can be more expensive than other options. And although it does have some natural resistance to decay, it often does not fare well when buried directly in the soil. Here at Coastal Home Pros, we recommend installing cedar posts into a concrete base. Alternatively, we can sink treated wood posts directly into the soil and attach cedar fencing to those posts. 

Vinyl

Vinyl fencing is virtually maintenance free. Immune to rot, insects, and decay, vinyl just needs a good scrubbing periodically to retain its good looks. With this type of resilience, vinyl is a great option here in coastal Florida. 

Things to consider: If you love the warmth of real wood, man-made vinyl products may not meet your aesthetic needs. In the past, vinyl fencing products got a bad reputation for yellowing and becoming brittle. Today’s vinyl fence manufacturers have addressed those issues, and as long as you buy a thicker gauge virgin vinyl product, you can expect decades of utility and beauty from your fence.

Composite

Composite fencing is a blend of wood fibers and plastic polymers. It offers many of the benefits of vinyl with the look of real wood. Like vinyl, it resists degradation from insects and moisture, and is virtually maintenance free once installed. 

Things to consider: Composite fencing can be pricey, and quality can vary. Your Coastal Home Pros fencing contractor will help you choice a high quality product that will stand the test of time and our coastal climate. 

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron has been a popular fencing material for centuries, and for good reason. It’s classic good looks, custom design options, and durability make a great fencing option for those with the budget. 

Things to consider: Wrought iron will need periodic maintenance, especially in our coastal climate. Applying rust-inhibiting paint whenever signs of corrosion appear is key to maintaining the life of your wrought iron fence. 

Aluminum

Aluminum is a relatively budget-friendly and versatile fencing material. Like vinyl, it’s virtually maintenance free once installed. 

Things to consider: Aluminum is not the sturdiest fencing material. Strong winds, falling trees and limbs, and even boisterous pets can dent, damage, or bend aluminum fencing. 

Chain Link

Chain link fencing is inexpensive and easy to install. It offers quick and budget-conscious security for pets and children, and may be a good choice for when large tracts need to be fenced.

Things to consider: Chain link fencing doesn’t offer much in the way of aesthetic appeal. In fact, some neighborhoods have covenants that prevent homeowners from installing chain link fences. Maintenance can also be an issue, as chain link will corrode over time. 

Chainlink fencing is a budget-friendly way to keep children and pets safe.
Chainlink fencing is an economical way to keep kids safe and pets contained.

Coastal Home Pros is Here for All Your Fencing Needs

When choosing fencing materials, consider function, form, and budget. And don’t forget about long-term maintenance and replacement costs when assessing the relative costs. Finally, remember to consider local codes and/or neighborhood covenants that may restrict your choices when it comes to fencing materials. Coastal Home Pros is always ready to help you weigh the options and choose the right fence for your home. Contact us today to get started!

Building a deck in Florida's Panhandle and Emerald Coast

Coastal Home Pros is Your Local Expert for Decks and More

If you’ve landed here without reading Part One in our series on deck-building, be sure to check out our Materials Primer. Once you’ve got your material choices nailed down, it’s time to think about designing your perfect deck. Our local experts at Coastal Home Pros can help you maximize your space and your budget to create the outdoor living space of your dreams.

Design it Right

Your family’s favorite outdoor activities should help determine the size, shape, and features of your new deck.

A great deck has well-designed space, multiple seating options, and adequate lighting and electrical outlets.
Plan for cooking and prep areas, built-in seating, dining, privacy, and sufficient lighting and electrical outlets.

Family Meals 

Maybe you already have your deck furniture, or maybe you’re buying new pieces. Either way, you should make sure your table will fit comfortably in the space you’re designing. At Coastal Home Pros, we recommend the “4-foot rule” when it comes to dining tables. Keeping a 4 foot margin all the way around the table allows plenty of space for people to walk behind those who are seated. Ideally, you should avoid layouts that trap diners at the table once they are seated.

Your new deck should have plenty of room for your dining table.
Plan room for a nice-sized dining table with plenty of clearance room around it.

Fresh Air Cooking

If you’re an avid outdoor cook, think about your grilling space. Leave room for a prep station as well as the actual grill. When you’re hosting the neighborhood barbecue, you’ll want a place to set your tools, seasonings, and ingredients near the cooking surface. 

Decks offer a wonderful outdoor space for cookouts and outdoor dining.
Your new deck will be the site of many great cookouts.

Entertaining Outdoors

Are you the host with the most whose door is always open to friends and family? Be sure to create spaces for your guests to sit and stand comfortably. Adding built-in perimeter seating is a cost-effective way to seat larger groups. And a deck railing with a wide, flat cap can do double-duty as a cocktail ledge for drinks and snacks. If you budget allows, it’s nice to create a space for lounge chairs and low tables.

Consider the Elements

Our coastal Florida sunshine is glorious, but even the most die-hard sun bum needs shade now and then. Consider adding a pergola to your decking structure to provide both shade and visual interest. Another option is a retractable awning. Besides providing shade, awnings can also offer shelter during our frequent afternoon rainstorms. 

Despite the sun, the evenings can get chilly here, especially in winter months. Consider planning space for an outdoor heater or fire pit (check fire codes first) to make your deck a year round outdoor space. 

Pergolas are a nice structural element that add shelter and beauty to your deck.
Pergolas are a nice structural element that add shelter and beauty to your deck.

Light Up the Night

When the sun drops and the stars come out, your beautiful new deck will be a lovely space to relax and entertain. Don’t forget to think about lighting. Make sure you’ve got enough lights to illuminate the entire space, paying special attention to stairs and transition zones. If you’re bringing an electrician out to install new lights, consider adding extra exterior outlets to allow for string lights and lanterns.

Go Green

Decks are a great place to highlight your green thumb. Planters and pots full of bright annuals or subtle evergreens can bring life and interest to your exterior space. If you intend to use very large planters, you may need extra structural support. If this is an issue, talk to your Coastal Home Pros deck specialist about incorporating stronger beams. Our experts can also talk with you about adding built-in planters. 

Next Steps

If you’ve chosen your decking materials and thought about your unique entertainment and relaxation needs, you’re almost ready to get started. Our Coastal Home Pros decking experts can help you think through the final planning and design details. If you have special considerations such as large trees you want to build around, a sloped yard, or handicapped access needs, we are here to help. Put our years of expertise in the Florida Panhandle and the Emerald Coast to work for you. Contact us today to get started!