Cedar vs. Redwood Fence: Which One is Better and why

Fencing with cedar or redwood allows homeowners a private and protected home. The decision to use either cedar or redwood depends on your expectation of maintenance, durability, suitability, resistance, and budget.

Cedar and redwood are the most popular woods used for fencing. Both of them make a strong, durable, and beautiful fence, but there are other considerations that a homeowner needs to make when choosing the correct wood fence.

Why is cedarwood used on fences?

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Beautiful Fencing Ideas | Creative Ways To Protect Your Garden From Outside Threats

Cedarwood requires less maintenance; the wood requires repainting with protective coating after a year. This wood is also known for its long-lasting characteristic; its fence can last up to 30 years when well maintained.

The yellowish color of cedarwood gives it a beautiful appearance; its alignment will provide the fence with an attractive look. Cedarwood is also resistant to moisture and pests such as termites, and this makes your fence last for a very long time.

Why is redwood used on fences?

The most inner portion, called heartwood, is the most recommended redwood for fencing because it’s the strongest. The wood is stable after being manufactured; it does not bend or shrink when installing the fence, thus making a straight and strong fence.

Redwood qualifies as a fence material because it’s also resistant to insects, pests, and moisture. It has tight knots that prevent moisture absorption into the wood. These characteristic makes it a strong wood for fencing. Redwood requires less maintenance.

Cedar vs. Redwood Fence (Comparison)

It can be a challenging task to choose the best type of wood for your fence when it comes to these two. Both of these woods are strong, durable and they have natural chemicals like tannins that enable them to resist moisture, rot, and pests.

To choose between the two, it always comes to your preferences. You can make a choice based on the cost, durability, maintenance, and natural appearance.

RedwoodCedarwood
A 16-foot board of redwood costs roughly $36The same panel of cedarwood goes for less than $31
Redwood comes in reddish-brown colorsCan be yellowish, reddish, or whitish
Low maintenanceRequires a bit of maintenance
Strong and durable, with a Janka rating of 450lbs and about 30 years life expectancy.Relatively durable, with a Janka rating of 350lbs and nearly 20 years life expectancy.
It does not require paintWorks well with or without paint

Here are the differences that can enable you to choose the best for their fencing:

1.    Color and appearances

The cedar or redwood has a beautiful natural color. Colors come naturally different with each wood. Therefore, many homeowners will tend to choose wood fences with the color that matches their property.

Cedarwood comes in three colors, yellowish, reddish, and whitish, depending on the part of the tree; these colors can turn into silver when not maintained. On the other hand, redwood comes in reddish-brown colors, and the reddish ones have fewer knots that make redwood smooth and soft.

Cedar absorbs paint better than redwood. Thus, you can easily match the appearance of cedar to your property. Otherwise, you can maintain its natural yellowish color.

2.    Durability

Many homeowners need a fence that can last longer. Both cedarwood and redwood are durable, and their hardness is weighed using an instrument called Janka.

Redwood is the most rigid wood; it has a rating of 450lbs on Janka, while cedarwood, has a strength rating of 350lbs. That means redwood is durable and recommended for fencing. That does not imply that cedarwood cannot stand heavy loads. It does make a good fence too.

In addition, both cedarwood and redwood produce natural chemicals like tannins, that keep pests at bay. Therefore, whichever you choose for your fencing project, termites, moths, or woodlice will not become a problem.

3.    Maintenance

When choosing the type of wood for fencing, homeowners should go for a material that requires less maintenance. Both cedarwood and redwood require low maintenance; they can be easy to clean using soap and water.

Except that when cedar wood is not keenly maintained, its color gradually turns to silver, while the tannin in redwood keeps its natural color over time.

When you decide to use cedarwood, you will have to keep repainting it often to maintain its natural yellow color. You can as well give it a color of your choice when maintaining your fence.

4.    Cost

When it comes to budgeting the cost of fencing materials, homeowners need affordable wood. Redwood is more costly compared to cedarwood. In other words, cedar is cheaper than redwood.

A standard measurement of a 16-foot board of redwood costs roughly $36, while the same panel of cedarwood goes for less than $31.

Cedarwood is budget-friendly. Therefore, we recommended it to homeowners working on a minimal fencing budget.

Despite the slight differences, redwood and cedar fences also have some basic things in common;

  • They both form a beautiful alignment with their natural appearances. Fences made of cedar and redwood have a natural attraction.
  • Both are strong and durable; both fences will last for more than 20 years.
  • Both fences are resistant to water, moisture, pests, and termites, enabling the fences to last longer.
  • Both require minimal maintenance. The fence will need to be taken care of after a while.

Here is a summary of the differences between cedarwood and redwood.

 

Pros and Cons of Cedar Fences

Despite their similarities and differences, cedar fence has the following advantages and disadvantages.

ProsCons
Up to 20 years of durabilityRequires work to maintain the fence
Easy to clean with soap and watercracks may cause rots
Increases your property’s aesthetic valueDiscolorizes with time/ needs paint

Pros

  • Durability

Cedarwood is highly durable. When used for fencing purposes, they last longer than fences made of pine and cypress. That’s because cedar produces natural oil that enables them to resist moisture and insects. Therefore, fences made of cedarwood can stand firm and steady for a long time after installation.

  • Maintenance.

Cedar naturally produces lots of tannins that make the wood easy to maintain. With soap and water, you can have your cedar fence clean for up to a year.

  • Beauty

Cedar fence has unique yellow, brown, and white colors, which are enhanced through pressure washing. Thus, cedar fences increase the aesthetic value of your home.

Did you know that homeowners who live within a cedar-fenced compound are presumed to be rich? Try cedarwood for fencing and hear it for yourself.

Cons

  • Just like any other wood, cider wood fences deteriorate over time. It requires work to maintain a fence made from cedar wood properly. Most cedar fences are panels and pine posts because they are not very resistant to the soil.
  • Cedar fence requires a lot of care; a tiny crack on it might create a fuzzy surface. It may cause rot.
  • Cedarwoods change color over time when exposed to sunlight, and the fence will require protection by painting using ultraviolet blockers to retain their color.

Summary of the pros and cons of cedarwood fences

Pros and Cons of Redwood Fences

Redwood fences are durable and more costly than cedar woods. The most inner part, called heartwood, is the strongest redwood than the sapwood for fencing. Therefore, these fences have various advantages and disadvantages.

ProsCons
Up to 30 years of durabilityMinimal maintenance
Easy to clean with soap and waterIt can be costly
Increases your property’s aesthetic valueIt does not hold well with paint
Easy installation 
Resistant to moisture and pests 

Pros

  • Strength

Redwood is firm, having the strength of 450lbs on Janka. Their power gives them an upper hand in making solid fences.

  • Stability

Once redwood is manufactured and adequately varnished, it makes a straight and strong wood for fencing. It does not shrink or bend during the installation of the fence.

  • Resistant

Redwood fences are known to be resistant to moisture, rot, and pests. The wood has tight knots that prevent moisture absorption.

  • Maintenance

Redwood fences are easy to maintain; they do not change or fade their original color. It requires cleaning and maintenance once a year.

  • Appearances

Redwood fences improve home appearances too, the alignment of redwood gives your fence a natural attraction.

  • Installation

It’s easy to install redwood fences. It requires contractors to do the job, and it does not take a long time to build the fence.

Cons

  • Redwood is very expensive. Purchasing redwood as a fencing material is costly than cedarwood. Its cost ranges between $24 to $30 per linear foot.
  • Redwood deteriorates just like any other wood, although it will take about 25-30 years to start seeing the fence become loose.

Summary of the pros and cons of redwood fences

Which one is better?

If you are a homeowner looking for low maintenance, strong, and durable fence, get a redwood fence. Redwood fence also has natural oils that enable it to resist the weather.

Tannins also prevent the wood from pests like termites. The natural reddish-brown color in redwood does not fade. It remains the same throughout its lifespan. Therefore, homeowners do not incur extra costs of repainting the fence unless they choose to. Redwood fences are strong enough to stand heavy loads and thus provide homeowners with a protected compound.

Cedarwood fences are also good, except it requires a bit of maintenance. Homeowners will need to take care of the color and maintain it or risk discoloration. It also involves pressure wash once or twice a year to maintain its color.

If you are looking for affordability, cedar is your go-to wood for fencing.

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