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Wood Posts VS. Metal Posts: Which is better for your fence?


If you’re planning to install a new wood fence but don’t know whether you need wood posts or metal posts, we are here to help. At First Rate Fence, we understand that a new fence is a big investment and we pride ourselves on helping you make educated decisions that will leave you happy with your new fence for years to come.


This post is here to help you decide whether you should install wood posts or metal posts on your new fence. While it may seem like a small decision, the type of posts you choose has a pretty big impact on your fence. Everything from the design, installation, cost, and longevity are impacted by your post choice. If you still aren't sure what you need after reading this article, let's set up a site check to figure it out!

Lets take a look at some of the major differences between wood and metal posts.

  1. Longevity

WOOD: A well maintained untreated cedar 4x4 post will last from 15-30 years. With a little help from the (generally) dry climate in Colorado, these posts live a long, happy life. However, wood is still a natural material and will eventually fall victim to the elements and experience deterioration such as rot, warping, or discoloration. (Read more about that here)


METAL: The steel posts that we use for our fences last at least 50 years with zero maintenance and can withstand some pretty high wind loads. Metal posts won't rot, warp, or become a snack for hungry termites.



Wood Post Decay Over Time
Wood Post Decay Over Time

2) AESTHETICS


WOOD: Wood posts are the traditional choice for a wood fence. They provide classic charm and keep the same continuous, neutral color going throughout the length of your fence. Wood posts can even be stained to match your pickets and perfectly match the look and feel of your home.

METAL: Metal posts can be hidden to keep a more natural look to your fence or emphasized to create contrast and add a more modern aesthetic. With more modern homes, metal posts can add a cool, decorative touch to your fence that really ups the curb appeal.


Cedar Fence with cedar posts top cap and trim, Denver
Cedar Fence with exposed cedar posts top cap and trim, Denver

3) PRICE


While most people assume that metal posts will automatically be more expensive than wood, that isn’t always the case. With the rising cost of lumber, the different types of wood posts (4x4, 4x6, 6x6…), and the labor to install the posts, the price of wood vs. metal posts varies depending on your design/needs. In some cases wood is more cost effective up front but costs more in replacements and maintenance further down the line. In other cases, however, metal makes more sense for your fence and costs less than the type of wood posts your fence would require to be strong and sturdy. This is definitely a question to address during your site check.



Cedar Privacy Fence with Metal Posts (hidden on "good" side)
Cedar Privacy Fence with Metal Posts (hidden on "good" side)

4) STRENGTH


Something that is important to consider in Colorado is the strength of your posts—especially when it comes to high winds. While post strength varies from brand to brand, you can generally expect metal posts to be a more sturdy option. A Master Halco Postmaster metal post, for example, can handle winds up to 73-112 MPH throughout its entire lifetime whereas a cedar post can handle 75 MPH winds at time of install (that number lowers over the years as the post naturally decays).


https://www.masterhalco.com/postmaster-plus/details

ALL IN ALL…


In general, either fence post will do the job of holding up your fence. For everday, residential fences, wood is still a great choice. Wood posts are classic, will last up to 30 years if well maintained, and look great. However, if you plan on being in your house or building for the long haul, want to invest in a more sturdy fence, and prefer a maintenance free option, metal is the way to go.


If you're a coloradan that's ready to get the ball rolling on your new fence, contact us today! We are 100% dedicated to quality craftsmanship, open communication, and fair pricing--that's a long way of saying "you'll love your new fence". If you have questions about having a new fence installed by First Rate Fence, check out this article).

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