Milwaukee Fence Finders | We find it. We Build It.

Cedar Wood Fence Pros and Cons Wisconsin

Cedar Fences: Pros and Cons

Cedar is one of the commonly used fence materials. It is popular for wood fences because of its beauty and it has a wide range of styles to suit almost any taste. However, there are many things that you need to know before you choose cedar for your fence.

Cedar is a very durable wood and it can last a long time if treated properly. Cedar does not require much maintenance and it will stand up against the elements including rain, wind, snow, ice and heat without any problem. If left untreated though, the fence will start to fade and it will need yearly maintenance. Since cedar is a wood, termites and other insects can also cause problems if the fence is not treated properly.Cedar is a commonly used material for fences, known for its natural beauty and versatility. Before choosing cedar for your fence, there are several factors to consider, including durability, maintenance, and cost.

Understanding Cedar Fences

Cedar is an exceptionally durable wood that can withstand rain, wind, snow, and heat. However, untreated cedar fences may fade over time and require yearly maintenance to prevent damage from termites and other insects. For homeowners seeking a durable, low-maintenance fence with a natural aesthetic, cedar is an excellent choice.

For those who want an easy-to-maintain yard with a durable fence that looks like it belongs in the forest, cedar is probably the perfect option.

Cedar Vs. Material Pros Cons
Vinyl Cheaper, Easier to maintain Less natural aesthetic
Chain Link Affordable, Durable Less privacy, Less attractive
Treated Pine Cheaper, More resistant to rot Requires more maintenance, Less durable
Aluminum Low maintenance, More styles available More expensive, Less privacy

Pros of Cedar Fences

Cedar is a naturally rot-resistant wood.

Sections of cedar fence can be left uncovered and they will last for years without any need to paint or stain it. This is because the natural oils in the wood resist rotting, insects and fading from exposure to sunlight.

Cedar Fences are durable. Cedar resists rot, splitting and warping. Sun, rain, snow and heavy winds will not damage cedar fence posts or panels.

The grain pattern in cedar creates a distinctive look that is appealing to most homeowners. Cedar is perfect for those who want an elegant-looking wood fence without all the maintenance of other types of fencing materials.

Since cedar is a strong, heavy wood, it will not move as easily as some other types of wood fence.Cedar boasts several advantages as a fencing material:

  • Naturally rot-resistant, thanks to the wood’s oils.
  • Highly durable, resisting splitting and warping.
  • Features a unique grain pattern that many homeowners find attractive.
  • A sturdy, heavy wood, cedar does not move easily.

Cons of Cedar Fences

Cedar fencing materials are expensive compared to other options like chain link or vinyl. The cost can depend on the size and style of the fence you choose, but cedar generally costs more per linear foot.

Cedar is very soft and can be easily dented by branches or other objects that fall against the fence. Cedar also scratches more easily than most woods, so marking on cedar fencing may be difficult to remove with sanding or refinishing.

Continual exposure to sunlight will cause cedar fence panels to fade. Cedar needs to be treated with a clear, protective finish on the fence panels. Sealers are available that will protect it from sun damage.

Cedar posts need to be protected from water and weathering in order to prevent rot and splitting. Cedar or any wood for that matter does not hold up well to low-lying areas that are prone to standing water.Despite its benefits, there are also downsides to cedar fencing:

  • Costs more than other options such as chain link or vinyl.
  • Is soft and prone to denting and scratching.
  • Fades with prolonged exposure to sunlight unless treated with a protective finish.
  • Requires protection from water and weathering to prevent rot and splitting.

Fence Maintenance Cost Study: Cedar vs. Vinyl, Chain Link, and Aluminum

In this comprehensive study, we examined the costs of maintaining cedar, vinyl, chain link, and aluminum fences over 5, 10, and 15-year intervals. While all materials have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, cost over time can be a significant factor in the decision-making process.


We collected data from various fence owners and industry professionals to determine average costs for installation, repairs, and general maintenance over time. These costs have been rounded to the nearest hundredth due to much of the data we collected being rounded up or down. Please note that these numbers are not definitive. 


5-Year Maintenance Costs

Fence Material Cost of Maintenance over 5 Years
Cedar $550
Vinyl $250
Chain Link $500
Aluminum $400

10-Year Maintenance Costs

Fence Material Cost of Maintenance over 10 Years
Cedar $1200
Vinyl $500
Chain Link $1100
Aluminum $850

15-Year Maintenance Costs

Fence Material Cost of Maintenance over 15 Years
Cedar $1700
Vinyl $750
Chain Link $1700
Aluminum $1300


While cedar fencing provides a unique aesthetic, it also requires more maintenance than vinyl, chain link, or aluminum fencing. Over time, the costs of maintaining a cedar fence can significantly surpass those of its counterparts. Homeowners should consider not just the initial cost of fence installation but also the long-term maintenance costs when making a decision.

Steel Post Master Posts for Cedar Fences

One of the things that you need to take into consideration is the posts. The posts in a cedar fence should be made from pressure-treated lumber or metal for durability and strength. Cedar posts that are breathing will rot faster than if they were in an enclosed area.

Post Masters cedar fence post sleeves protect wood fencing posts from rot, insects, harsh weather, and severe temperature swings.

Post Masters are used with all types of wood fencing including cedar, redwood, pressure-treated lumber, and even composite wood fences.

Cedar Fence Conclusion

Cedar fence materials are expensive, but they will last a long time and look great in your yard. The only problem with cedar is that it has to be properly cared for and you must keep up with the maintenance to ensure that the fence continues looking good. For those who want natural wood fencing or unique fence panels, cedar may be perfect for your needs.