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Old 11-06-2012, 11:19 AM   #1
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


We are putting in a new fence in the backyard. We live in a location with humid hot summer and the fence will be in the shade half of the year. I've gotten quotes on cedar and pressure treated pine and the prices are about $200 from each other. Is one better than the other? The fence will be a tall picket style with 7 ft height. All companies suggested 3 horizontal rails. Thanks!

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Old 11-06-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


Cedar has natural oils that make it rot and insect resistant but you are treating the pine in hopes of accomplishing the same thing. I guess it depends on the grade and species of the lumber of each. $200 seems an eerily tight spread between 7' cedar and pine (even treated) pickets. I would definitely make sure you read the part of the contract specifying the lumber carefully. Do you know how many knots to expect, etc.

My first instinctive reaction was to suggest for $200 you go for cedar but do look into the above. And how much soil contact are the pickets going to experience or is the contractor going to give you some clearance between ground and the bottom of the fence boards? You might almost be better off with treated pine than untreated and lower graded cedar in soil contact?

Do remember, depending on the treatment, you may have to wait 6-12 months to stain over your treated pickets.

Off topic, you might want to update your profile with basic geographic information so we know where you are?

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


sdsester, thanks for the help. I plan to ask the contractor to give us some clearance on the bottom.

But here is the catch, my neighbor piled a ton of stuff (blown leaves, used hay bales, dirt) up against the existing chain link fence we are replacing. It is the main reason why I want to put up a wood fence because I am so tired of seeing their junk. He's promised to keep the stuff off of the new fence and I hope he will once a new fence is up. But I don't have anyway to know either way. The existing fence was put in years ago before we (us and the neighbor) moved in and nobody is sure if the fence is put up by their previous owner or ours. It is in a bad shape too. I assume with a new wood fence we put up we may have more leverage to make things stay away from the fence on their side.

This is a long way of saying yes the new fence may very well come into contact with a lot of wet leaves and dirt.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:57 PM   #4
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


Number 2 STK Western Red Cedar is what the contractors use. Is this a good grade of cedar?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #5
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


Have the fence guy run a 2x6 pressure treated board on the very bottom and start the pickets half way up. This will keep your fence out of the soil and protect it from mowing and weed eating as well.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


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Number 2 STK Western Red Cedar is what the contractors use. Is this a good grade of cedar?
If someone takes the time to sort it you will be fine but it could, potentially, have a fair amount of sapwood in it that frankly will not have much better properties than pine in terms of disease resistance. However, top grade cedar heartwood would be exorbitant.

I certainly have had no reason to in ages but have you priced redwood in comparison to the pine and cedar?

Obviously stack organic matter of any kind up against even one side of a fence is going to detract from its lifespan. I hope you can convince your neighbor to develop better practices? Is he chipping in to defray the cost? That might be an incentive.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


Pressure treated timber for sure,





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Old 12-19-2012, 06:14 PM   #8
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


I like cedar above ground, but have not had good luck with it below ground.
After having to replace my cedar posts, I would stick with pressure treated posts in the future with my cedar fences.
The leaves and dirt piled up against the fence are going to be a problem no matter what you use.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


Pressure treated posts, cedar fence.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #10
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


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sdsester, thanks for the help. I plan to ask the contractor to give us some clearance on the bottom.

But here is the catch, my neighbor piled a ton of stuff (blown leaves, used hay bales, dirt) up against the existing chain link fence we are replacing. It is the main reason why I want to put up a wood fence because I am so tired of seeing their junk. He's promised to keep the stuff off of the new fence and I hope he will once a new fence is up. But I don't have anyway to know either way. The existing fence was put in years ago before we (us and the neighbor) moved in and nobody is sure if the fence is put up by their previous owner or ours. It is in a bad shape too. I assume with a new wood fence we put up we may have more leverage to make things stay away from the fence on their side.

This is a long way of saying yes the new fence may very well come into contact with a lot of wet leaves and dirt.
The fence is likely in at this point, but if the messy neighbour is not chipping in one way to keep his junk off the new fence is to leave the old chainlink in place--just install the new in front of it. So what if you lose an inch or two of property.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


@farmery: Please update your profile so we will know what part of the country you are in and can understand more. A $200 spread seems to be just too little between these two available fencing lumbers for this job. Note: IF the chain link fabric is on the opposite side of the line posts and top rail, the chain link fencing is probably yours. Using pressure treated post for in-ground installation, and PT rails with cedar fence boards would be my choice for this job.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #12
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


If you are at all concerned about looks then stay away from pressure treated.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:47 AM   #13
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Cedar or pressure treated pine for fence?


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We are putting in a new fence in the backyard. We live in a location with humid hot summer and the fence will be in the shade half of the year. I've gotten quotes on cedar and pressure treated pine and the prices are about $200 from each other. Is one better than the other? The fence will be a tall picket style with 7 ft height. All companies suggested 3 horizontal rails. Thanks!
What is the nature of your backyard? is it plain or a bit sloped? If it is the latter, you might want to consider having a quote for a retaining wall which includes your fencing requirements. The result will be a decorative timber fencing with concrete on the base (to hold the soil together and avoid landslide) and a timber of your choice on top. With regards to the humidity factor, there are other materials you can choose aside from pine and cedar.

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