The Best Types of Wood for Fences

Based on a recent study conducted by the International Association of Certified Home Builders, wood fences can last up to 20 years or more, provided that they are regularly maintained and cared for. However, a fence’s lifespan can be significantly increased if you choose the right type of wood for your project.

Remember that not all wood is created equal. Some high quality species are simply more resistant to rot and other natural elements. Needless to say, however, this durability comes at a hefty price. For example, cedar, cypress, and redwood may be popular options because of their natural durability and rot resistance, but these types of wood can easily make your wallet lighter. On the other hand, pine, fir, and spruce may be more affordable, but also less durable. So, as you can see, choosing the right type of wood for your fence will essentially come down to two factors: first, how durable you want your fence to be; and second, how much you’re willing to spend on your project. To help you decide, we present to you a list of the most popular lumber choices for fence construction.


Aside from the obvious aesthetics elements of cedar, it also contains a number of natural chemicals and aromatic oils that help repel insects, resist moisture, and prevent rot. When installed correctly, cedar does not shrink or warp, and retains its attractive red hue for several years. Because the trees are indigenous to Canada and the American northwest, cedar is not as pricey as other high quality lumber and may be considered a middle ground fit for most budgets.

Tropical Hardwood

Brazilian Cherry, Tigerwood, and Ipe – these are just some of the South American woods that can burn a hole in your pocket. These incredibly hard and dense materials are used to make the most gorgeous and durable fences. In fact, some of them may be so hard that you won’t be able to hammer a nail into the lumber. Instead, they come with holes already predrilled into them.

Pressure Treated Pine (PTP)

PTP is much cheaper than the other options, but does not sacrifice durability for price. This chemically treated lumber designed to resist termites, water damage, and rot. Though the processes used to produce this material can turn off more environmentally friendly homeowners, the material’s practicality and functionality simply cannot be ignored by fence builders.