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Metal vs. Wood Fence Posts

Although you may have already selected a wood privacy fence, you still have one other decision that you will have to make – should you select wood or steel fence posts? While both options serve their purposes, there are several factors you need to consider before making your final selection. Below we will dive into the pros and cons of both wood and steel fence posts, and the characteristics of each!

#1: Durability

The first consideration when selecting between metal and wood fence posts is their durability, Fences face harsh elements, like heavy winds and rainstorms, and unfortunately, wood fence posts aren’t always up for the challenge. With changes in moisture levels, wood fence posts can contract and expand, essentially warping the post. When a fence post is warped, it’s unsightly and can affect the longevity of the fence. The other disadvantage of a wooden fence posts is that they can be attacked by termites, leaving brittle wood in their wake.

Steel posts won’t be affected by natural elements or termites, so they’re widely considered more durable than wood fence posts. Although steel is prone to rust, galvanized steel is not, and since fence posts are made with galvanized steel, rust is not a worry.

#2: Maintenance

As with anything you buy, maintenance is part of the package. If you’re looking for something lower-maintenance, steel is going to be a better choice. As long as the steel posts are made from galvanized steel and are securely fastened, they’re essentially maintenance free.

Wood fence posts on the other hand are affected by moisture, weather and natural elements as we mentioned in the first section. Although wood can be stained and sealed for some protection, it’s not fool-proof and the stain must be reapplied. While you will only have to re-stain the fence every couple of years, you will have to take these expenses into account when budgeting for your fence.

#3: Cost

This factor is a little tricky because while wooden fence posts are initially cheaper, they do come with maintenance expenses like repairs and staining. Galvanized steel poles on the other hand may have a larger initial expense, but they don’t have any maintenance costs associated with them.

The largest cost differences between wood fence posts and steel posts are largely due to the cost of materials and installation costs. Wood is cheap raw material and is easy to cut and hammer together, while steel is an expensive raw material, and you will need a professional to cut and install it.

#4: Aesthetics

Fences with wood posts offer an unbeatable natural and charming look, while fences with galvanized steel create a much more modern feel. Additionally, though there are some steel posts that can be concealed. Deciding between the two is really just dependent on your personal tastes and the design of your property – which style are you going to choose?

Now that you understand the differences between fences with metal and wood fence posts, are you ready to get your fencing project started? Give our experts at Sierra Fence a call today for all of your fencing needs!



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