Vinyl Fence vs. Aluminum Fence in South or Central Florida
- by William Roberson
- February 5, 2023
- Tags: Aluminum Fence
The two most commonly used materials in residential fencing in Florida are vinyl or PVC, and aluminum. While aluminum fences only have one base style, and several slight variations on that base style, vinyl fences can suit pretty much any application you can imagine.
When choosing a new fence for your South or Central Florida home, you should consider all of your options before making a final decision, in this article, we’ll discuss how aluminum fencing panels measure up against vinyl fencing panels.
Interested in learning how other fence materials compare with vinyl fence materials? Read our companion articles:
Aluminum fence styles vs. vinyl fence styles
It’s important to note that aluminum fencing is typically made one or two ways, and then these base models have slight variations such as picket spacing, amount of rails, finials, etc. There are no aluminum privacy fences; though metal privacy fences do exist (Durafence), they are not made with aluminum.
In this regard, vinyl fence is a clear winner. There are privacy, semi-privacy, picket (like aluminum), and ranch-rail styles that are all highly customizable. Plastic, or PVC in this case, is a much easier material to modify and create with a CNC routing machine than aluminum is.
Additionally, vinyl fences can mimic the exact styles that are most common with aluminum, so if you’re searching for a picket fence in your front or backyard, vinyl fences can serve the same purpose.
Aluminum fence colors vs. vinyl fence colors
Homeland, our supplier, has nine color variations for use in our vinyl fence panels, posts, gates, and other profiles. And while we only sell white and tan for standard use, we can order any of these 9 colors upon special request – including wood grain patterns!
On the other hand, the vinyl fence does not have appropriate black or bronze colors to use the harsh Florida sunlight and environment. So if your home has a modern look with black or bronze accents, a plain white fence might clash with your overall design.
Vinyl fences can look modern, such as the louvered semi-privacy model, but aluminum wins out in these applications specifically. That being said, aluminum typically only comes in black, bronze, and white, but custom powder coating is available on welded models to achieve any color.
Ultimately, vinyl fencing has far more colors on standard models than aluminum, and also wood grain options that are non-existent in aluminum
Aluminum fence cost vs. vinyl fence cost
The most standard and commonly used models of both aluminum and vinyl are pretty similar in price, with aluminum typically being slightly cheaper (depending on the distributor and market value of materials.)
Welded aluminum fences like pressed point, and custom-made sections, are typically far more expensive than custom vinyl fences due to the fact that they must be hand welded by master welders, whereas vinyl fences are created through a machine routing process that is controlled by computer programs.
The most expensive vinyl fence models, like louvered and semi-privacy shadowbox, are significantly cheaper per foot than the most expensive aluminum models.
Although vinyl fencing sections used in hurricane zones will have additional costs such as thicker heavy-wall posts or metal inserts in both rails or posts.
Aluminum fence installation vs. vinyl fence installation
Installing a vinyl fence in South or Central Florida is incredibly easy, read our guide on how you can install your own vinyl fence.
Holes are routed into each of the component parts and simply slide and snap together, with the most difficult parts being the post-distance setting and cutting short sections to finish off a run.
When installing an aluminum fence, however, there are three systems most commonly used in Florida:
- Routed Aluminum Fence Panels: Similar to vinyl fences with routed posts, often secured with additional fasteners
- Rackable Aluminum Fence Panels: These sections are pre-assembled and can be angled to match steep grades on your property
- Post and Snap Aluminum Fence panels: In South Florida, you’ll mostly find this type where the sections are 10’ in length and have one end that is a “snap” and the other end that is a “post” these two sides connect by snapping together as the name suggests
In the end, vinyl fences are by far, the easiest type of fence to install yourself in Florida. Anyone with a small amount of construction knowledge and know-how can install their own vinyl fence, but aluminum is slightly less friendly with additional tools being needed to screw fasteners and cut metal sections.
Learn how to install your own PVC fence with our vinyl fence installation guide.
Not sure if an aluminum or vinyl fence is appropriate for you? Contact us or call us today to learn more about your options.