The 5 key differences between composite and timber fencing

22nd May 2023

Here at Monton Fencing, we’re one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of garden fence panels and timber. Our timber is one of our best selling products – and for good reason. We manufacture all of our own fencing panels right here in Greater Manchester, so we can guarantee quality, durability and great prices. And over the last few years another relatively new concept in the fencing industry has fast become one of the nation’s other favourites. We are, of course, talking about composite fencing.

Both timber and composite fencing come with their own distinct set of benefits, along with some key differences too. So, here’s a bit about how they compare and contrast!

1. Materials used

A timber wood fence is made entirely from soft or hard wood, giving it a particularly naturally authentic appearance, whereas composite fencing is constructed from a mixture of wood and plastic fibres.

Composite fencing panels have a slightly more modern look when compared with timber garden fence panels, making them an excellent fit for more contemporary settings. On the other hand, timber fencing lends itself particularly well to more traditional settings, especially cottages and farmhouses.

The wide variety of colours available with composite fencing means that both options can be used to easily achieve the look of a classic wood fence. But if you prefer timber’s particularly authentic appeal, you’ll be spoiled for choice here at Monton Fencing!

2. and 3. Durability and Maintenance

Out of the two, composite fencing just about wins out in terms of durability. That’s mainly because it’s a synthetic material, designed to provide stability and longevity. Specifically, it’s the mixture of wood and plastic that makes composite fencing highly durable, and as a result it’s likely to have a longer lifespan than a timber fence.

It’s also very low maintenance due to its hardwearing and waterproof nature, and will it only require significant attention if cracked. (This doesn’t happen spontaneously – usually, it only happens once the fence has suffered a direct impact, and quite a significant one too.) This durability ensures you’ll only need to replace your composite fence on the very extreme and unlikely occasion that this occurs.

However, timber fencing is equally a lot more robust than it’s sometimes given credit for. In fact, it can have a lifespan of between 15 to 20 years when cared for properly. The main thing is just to ensure that you’re keeping on top of them in terms of maintenance (especially if you live in an area prone to extreme weather, like a coastal region).

Happily, it’s nothing too intensive. Mostly it’s worth making routine inspections every couple of months – especially after heavy weather. Then, it’s just a matter of making any necessary repairs, cleaning the fence regularly and applying wood preserver and varnish to seal the fence. Additional upkeep such as staining can also help to increase the lifespan of your timber fencing by making it slightly more moisture resistant.

4. Variety

Composite fencing offers a wider variety of shade options when compared with timber fencing. You can choose from a range of traditional wood colourings, as well as even more distinctive hues of brown, grey and black – all of which look great in a modern or contemporary setting.

However, when it comes to variety of styles, timber fencing is unquestionably king. Timber fencing comes in an array of style options that can be adapted to any height or specification you would like. For example, if you’re in the market for a tall fence that’ll give you privacy and create a zen environment in your garden, then look no further than our waney lap or vertical close board fencing. But if you’re looking to imbue your outdoor space with traditional, classic charm then one of our rustic picket fences will do just the trick.

If you’d like, you can also paint timber fencing panels for a truly curated look, so you can perfectly match your fence to the rest of your garden – for a seamless finishing touch to your space.

5. Cost

Timber fencing is the more cost-effective option out of the two, which is one of the main reasons it’s so popular with UK homeowners up and down the country. Timber fences are also more widely available, simpler to install and cheaper and easier to repair in the event of damage than their composite counterparts. As we’ve covered above, the maintenance isn’t too intensive, so even if you only have a few basic DIY skills, you’ll have no problem managing the upkeep of a timber fence.

Composite fencing on the other hand has a higher initial price tag, but that quickly levels out in the long run as it requires little to no maintenance once installed. If you’re looking to buy some composite fencing, you can expect to find prices averaging around £40 per 6ft (w) x 1ft (h). As a rule of thumb the higher the fence, the higher the cost. But if you’re looking for a long-lasting fence and if you’ve got the budget for it, it’s often a very worthy investment.

Both composite and timber fencing can be excellent choices for your garden, enhancing it with their own specific set of benefits. And best of all, you can find them both for the best prices right here at Monton Fencing. We’re a family run business who’ve been providing our customers with the highest quality garden fencing panels and materials for over 30 years. From our European fence panels to our fence post extensions, you’ll find everything you need right here. So, if you’re interested in finding out any more information on our products, get in touch with our friendly team on 0161 788 78 38 and we’ll be happy to assist you!

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