When I lived in San Diego I was amazed by the amount of old fences around. Some of this was because the houses were old and the fencing was simply old but after closer examination, I observed some interesting things. I found that the average California homeowner was continuing to replace their old rotted wood or iron fence with the same product again and again; their choice of fence was not a product that would last more than a few years such as wood or iron fencing.

The fence industry has come up with great long term solutions for fencing in climates where the weather is hard on outdoor products, such as southern California, where the coastal weather is highly corrosive and fences seem to not last long. I think many install wood or iron again and again because they feel they can’t afford other options such as composite or vinyl fencing. If they really thought of the maintenance and replacement costs over time for these wood and iron products, as mentioned in the article “Is a Fence a Fence,” they would reconsider their fence type.

California vinyl fencing may initially cost more than a wood or basic iron fence, but quickly, pays for itself with its low maintenance and beautiful look over time.  Vinyl fencing will not rust and corrode which provides a great alternative from that of iron or wood. Many are tempted to go with aluminum, but my experience is that over time it corrodes and gets a chalky film all over it. Composite fences are relatively new to the industry and have the appearance of rock walls but the downfall is the initial costs of composites are pricey.

Whatever product you choose, be an informed buyer. Not all California fence products are the same, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions about how long you should expect your fence to last and look for reputable companies that have been in business for at least 10 years as they tend to sell products that are of higher quality.