Help! What to do With a Leaning Fence

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

One dilemma many homeowners are faced with is fence repair versus fence replacement. It can be difficult to tell if a leaning fence is structurally sound enough to replace only what’s needed, or if installing a whole new fence is your best option.  If you have a leaning fence on your property, there are a few factors that come into play when deciding whether to fix it—or ditch it entirely.

Leaning Fence Repair

For wooden leaning fences, probably the best way to determine whether fence repair is a good option is to check the integrity of its horizontal rails. If the rails are sturdy enough to hold a nail, you can generally replace the fence posts, as well as any damaged panels, to extend the life of the fence another 10 years. But if the fence rails are deteriorated to the point they cannot be secured, total replacement might be a better option.

Metal fence repair is a far more involved process, and one that most homeowners are simply not equipped to do themselves. In some cases, however, an older metal fence is a good candidate for repair simply because of its age. Wrought iron fencing produced by a skilled hand is quite valuable and well-worth preserving and restoring. A badly leaning chain link fence, on the other hand, is probably better suited to total replacement.

White Fence

Source: iStock

Leaning Fence Replacement

Today’s homeowners have a wide array of options when it comes to replacing a leaning fence. In addition to traditional wood and metal fencing, most home improvement centers and fencing contractors will be able to provide you with options ranging from the old standbys to newer composite and vinyl fences. These materials are designed to have the look of wood, while reducing the amount of drawbacks real wood is known for.

In many cases, a vinyl or composite fence won’t require a significant amount of upkeep and will likely last for several decades without degrading. Unfortunately, these fencing materials are generally more expensive than real wood and have other problems—such as fading—that cannot be fixed with a simple coat of new paint.

Different kinds of fencing are also better in different settings. Some fences may even perform better depending on what part of the country you live in. A wrought iron fence in a very moist, rainy area is likely to rust quickly, while a vinyl fence might hold up for years without a single hitch. An ornate wood fence might provide the perfect accent in a place like Tucson, while in a place prone to high winds like the Gulf coast, that same fence might turn to money down the drain after only a few years.

Prices of Leaning Fence Repair and Replacement

Though every situation is unique, knowing the going rate for fence work may have a distinct impact on what kinds of materials you consider in the first place. The national average cost for fence repair is about $560 for wood fences, $460 for vinyl fences or PVC fences, $470 for aluminum or steel and $570 for chain link. Installation runs about $2,800 for wood, $4,000 for vinyl, $2,250 for chain link, and $5,000 for wrought iron.

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