If you want your yard to feel more like an oasis and less like a place where neighbors can spy on you, installing a privacy fence is a wise choice. These solid fences can be made from vinyl, wood, or even wood composite planks. Many homeowners choose wooden privacy fences because they like the natural, rustic look. However, you should carefully consider the upsides and downsides to wood fences before you have one installed.
Pro: Wooden fences as earth-friendly.
Most wooden fence manufacturers buy their wood from sustainable farms that re-plant trees as they harvest them. When you're done with the wood, it will biodegrade naturally, rather than sitting intact in a landfill or leeching chemicals into the groundwater. If you're really aiming to build as "green" a home as possible, wood is the obvious fencing choice.
Pro: You can make repairs yourself.
While you'll likely want to have the fence professionally installed, you don't need a lot of special skills to make minor repairs to a wooden fence. If a board pops off the posts, you can nail or screw it back in yourself. Later on, if a few boards start developing rot, you can likely replace them with new boards without too much hassle. This can save you money on the cost of repairs. Other privacy fence materials, like vinyl, are harder to work with on your own.
Pro: You can change the look of the fence with paint.
If you want a natural-looking fence now, but change your mind and decide you prefer a white or colorful fence later on, all you need to do is paint the fence. This is not an option with vinyl, and even composite planks come pre-colored and can be hard to paint.
Con: You'll have to worry about splinters as the fence ages.
When the fence gets older and starts to show wear, you'll need to make sure that those who lean against it don't get splinters. This is more of an issue with kids and pets who play near the fence. Keeping the rough sections sanded down will reduce this issue, but some homeowners don't want to do that maintenance.
Con: Wood does not last forever.
No matter how well you take care of your wooden fence, it will eventually start rotting and sagging. Vinyl fencing is more durable and can last for many decades. If you don't mind replacing your fence down the road, wood is a phenomenal choice; just be aware that it won't last forever.