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Home > Steel vs Concrete vs Wood: Guide to fence posts

Steel vs Concrete vs Wood: Guide to fence posts

Feb 24, 2021 | DuraPost, Garden

Deciding on a new fence for your garden isn’t easy. Especially when trying to weigh up the pros and cons of wooden and concrete fence posts. You need to consider the practicality, aesthetics, short and long term costs and sustainability of the fence post. But what if we told you there’s an alternative to wooden and concrete fence posts? An alternative that outshines them both too – DuraPost, a fence post system made from galvanised steel.

In this article that Birkdale have put together, we’ll be comparing wood, concrete and DuraPost to help you make the correct decision for your new fence.  This is even more relevant with the ongoing supply chain issues of timber and concrete; you can read all about that here.

Installation

Due to the sheer weight of concrete fence posts, installation takes a great deal of time and effort. This usually requires an extra pair of hands or two to ensure a safe and efficient job is complete. So, if speed’s an important factor for you, concrete fence posts probably aren’t for you.

Compare this to a wooden fence post system, and you’ll find a slight decrease in time-to-install. Why? Wood is somewhat lighter than concrete, meaning less effort is required to install a fence using wooden posts. Although slightly quicker to install, wooden fence posts still require two people for maximum efficiency.

So how does DuraPost compare?

When it comes to installation, a fence posts system made from galvanised steel blows both concrete and wooden fence posts out of the water. How? DuraPost, is 80% lighter than concrete. This makes the entire installation process efficient with just 1 person, reducing the time-to-install.

Aside from the installation speed, the compact design of DuraPost combines the ease of installation with security. Due to DuraPost’s innovative design, the fence panels cannot be lifted once installation is complete, giving you maximum security from your fence.

DuraPost installation

Aesthetics

Ultimately, the aesthetics of a fence post comes down to personal preference. Having said that, a wooden fence post certainly creates a far more natural effect than concrete. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a stylish, elegant and modern looking fence, DuraPost is the way forward. Not only does DuraPost offer a great looking fence, you have the ability to choose colour matched capping rails, gravel boards and post caps for a customised fence just the way you want it.

DuraPost fence post system

Durability

The longevity of a fence must be taken into consideration. A fence post system that’s prone to wear and tear just isn’t cost-effective in the long run. Another thing to note, damaged fence posts can bring health and safety risks to your outdoor space – a rotting fence won’t stand for long in strong winds, so consider this when deciding on your new fence.

Concrete is a durable building material and can last for around 20 years with minimal maintenance. Sounds promising doesn’t it? Surprisingly, concrete isn’t immune to wear and tear. Excessive wind and rain can cause concrete posts to chip and crack. This often leads to the interior wire reinforcements becoming exposed, weakening the structure.

In comparison, the lifespan of timber fence posts can vary depending on the type of wood used. While treated timber posts can last from anywhere between 10-15 years, untreated timber may need replacing in under 5 years. What’s more, rotting, splitting and warping (where the post expands upon water absorption) are all very common occurrences for wooden fence post systems.

DuraPost is stronger than both concrete and timber fence posts and is guaranteed to last up to 25 years. Made from galvanised steel, DuraPost doesn’t rot, split, warp, crack or chip and can even withstand winds of up to 110mph! It’s a no brainer if you ask us.

Sustainability

With the ever growing concern for our environment, opting for an environmentally friendly fence is a priority amongst many homeowners and contractors.

Concrete fence posts have the biggest impact on the health of our environment over any other fence post. The material has even been labelled the most destructive on earth and is said to be responsible for 4-8% of the worlds CO2. In short, if sustainability is something you value, we wouldn’t recommend concrete.

Whilst much timber is obtained from sustainable sources, the process still involves the felling of trees. This releases carbon into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming. Furthermore, the treatment of timber can be harmful to plants and animals. Why? The chemicals used to preserve the wood are used to protect the fence posts from insects, as well as fungi that cause rotting. These chemicals can seep into the ground and contaminate soil or groundwater, harming the surrounding life.

A far more sustainable fence post is DuraPost. Its endless recyclability (due to the fact it’s made of steel), low energy manufacturing process and long-life span offers an environmentally-friendly option for everyone. Furthermore, DuraPost is both manufactured and stocked in the UK. This means transportation miles are cut significantly, reducing emissions and impact on the planet. So, if you’re passionate about the environment, we suggest DuraPost is the fence for you.

Costs

When it comes to pricing, you can’t focus solely on the short term costs. Initially, a cheaper fence might seem appealing. However, it may need replacing 3 or 4 times, and by then, a more expensive option would have been more cost-effective – this goes for timber fence post systems.

Although cost-effective in the short term, due to rotting, splitting and warping, opting for timber fence posts often means a high lifetime cost. While concrete is also cheap to buy, the vulnerability to wear and tear also means a high lifetime cost. Now, let’s see how DuraPost compares.

Although DuraPost requires a greater upfront cost than concrete and timber fence posts, the long term cost-effectiveness puts all competition in the shade. The 25-year warranty, strength and durability offers a fence system that won’t need replacing any time soon. Ultimately, DuraPost requires a bigger upfront investment, but it’s an investment worth making. Trust us.