Materials needed to replace fence railing

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Old 12-01-15, 04:59 AM
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Materials needed to replace fence railing

It is time to replace my fence rails. They are currently nailed into 4x4 posts that are all in good shape. I think that I would like to replace them with a vinyl-clad material, if there is such a thing in 1x4 vinyl or vinyl clad material, if available but, I can't see to find it anywhere.

Perhaps I should simply replace them with regular 1x4 wood. I've been told that it won't make any difference whether I get wood or pressure-treated wood. If I get wood, I know that it will only be a matter of time before they have to be repainted (a lot of the fencing gets sun all day and we all know what that does to painted wood). So I need some advice before I start in on this project. I'm not looking forward to it but, I've procrastinated long enough. Now, it has to be done. I'm planning on replacing the wire fencing with something similar, once the new rails are installed.
Thanks for any ideas.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 05:13 AM
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Fence

Photos of what you have now would better enable us to help you. Your post is somewhat confusing since you talk about both wood and wire.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 06:11 AM
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Outside, there's a huge difference between wood and pressure treated wood unless wood means something like cedar or redwood - if spruce/pine/fir, it will rot in short order.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 06:39 AM
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There are a multitude of fencing products available so it's almost up to your imagination. There are vinyl members that approximate the size of traditional wood. Some are just vinyl tubes. Some have internal ribs for increased strength and some have internal aluminum structure. I would search around to educate yourself on the available options and their cost. Traditional wood and pressure treated will probably be the lease expensive but may have the shortest life.

Oh, and don't limit yourself to a walk through a big box home center. Look at their special order items and also check out commercial suppliers. Lumber yards and vinyl siding supply houses that specialize in supplying to contractors. They often have a larger selection and may be able to offer better advice that a "dude" in a vest.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 07:49 AM
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Size:  49.2 KB Hopefully, this works
 
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Old 12-01-15, 07:56 AM
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As you can see, I have about 1100lf, total, of fence rails (currently wood)/three strings around the back yard. There is a coated wire fence stapled to the inside that I will be replacing after the new rails that I am looking for get installed. Hopefully this helps. I want about the same look (1"x4" rails) but feel like I should find a vinyl clad or solid vinyl, rather than painted wood like I now have. I'm retired and don't want to go through this again, after this fix/repair. I'm looking for links to such a vinyl product since I haven't been able to find any online. I will be returning to a local lumber yard for answers, as well. Thanks
 
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Old 12-01-15, 12:02 PM
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Fence

You will need to consider how you plan to fasten the wire to the rails.

If it was my fence, I would use 5/4 treated decking boards or treated 2x4's.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 01:07 PM
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Expanded PVC trim boards will not have sufficient lateral strength to use in place of the 1x4 lumber you currently have. You also will have difficulty attaching items securely to it. Vinyl is also going to be substantially more expensive than wood, but it is your pocket book. Most vinyl fences come in prefabricated panels in either 6 or 8 ft lengths. Is the wire to keep critters out or in?
 
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Old 12-02-15, 03:47 AM
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Does the fence need to be a certain color? I'd lean toward stained PT wood.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 04:48 AM
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I am surprised your 1" x boards are holding up as well as they are. I would not expect new 1" lumber treated or untreated to last very long without warping and cracking. Personally I don't even use 2" lumber without screwing two pieces together, usually in a "T" or "L" shape to help keep them straight. Over the distances you need to span I would consider a structural vinyl if you go vinyl. That would be members that have internal ribbing or an internal aluminum frame for strength.

Do you need the wire fencing? That makes things difficult as the best way to attach it is to hammer heavy staples into wood. Which sorta limits you to wood. It can be attached to vinyl but that would require screwing and possibly pilot drilling or using self drilling/tapping screws which will increase the labor to install and cost.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 06:22 AM
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I have a similar fence behind my house although I used 5/4 PT decking instead of a regular 1x6 with the posts spaced at 8' intervals. I also used a strand of barb wire and an electric wire [to contain goat] instead of 2x4 fencing wire. It's been up about 7 yrs and still looks as good as new except for it needing the mildew washed off and fresh coat of CWF.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 07:06 AM
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Thank you for your replies. I think the use of vinyl of some sort was wishful. I'll probably continue with wood since I am not about to get into changing the positions of the posts. The previous HO didn't use much forethought in erecting this fence. It is used mainly to keep critters out but, does little to prevent squirrels, groundhogs, and cats from entering and exiting the yard. I feed birds so all of those mentioned come and go when I am not present. I do want to keep the wire (or replace it with new wire just for appearance sake. I've sprayed the posts and rails in the past and slopped up the wire fence in the process. When I replace the rails, the wire has come down, anyway, so I thought that I would get new fence from Tractor Supply.
Would there be much difference in durability between 5/4 PT decking and Cedar? *I would probably paint or solid stain either before I put it up.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 07:20 AM
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Give up on the battle with keeping the squirrels out. I did. I made myself two blue jay peanut feeders several years ago. Ended up getting cardinals and a few others I didn't recognize as well. My backyard turns into a battle royale when our dogs aren't out there. Blue jays divebombing the squirrels who stand up and scream right back at the birds.

I've just accepted the fact that I'm feeding them all, which at the end of the day is fine.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 12:11 PM
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Cedar is more expensive than PT pine. PT wood needs to dry out from the PT process before it can successfully be painted/stained. If using white or light colors, cedar requires an oil base primer to prevent tannin bleed [which will stain light colors]
 
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Old 12-04-15, 07:27 PM
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Do you have a real valid reason for wanting the fence to be white?

If it was mine, I'd go with a natural wood color, PPT, on the rails, such that when I'm finished with it, I'm really finished with it. I'd sand-blast the posts to get rid of the white paint, and then stain them to either match or contrast with the PPT rails.
 
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Old 12-05-15, 04:51 AM
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I agree. While paint will last a little longer than stain, stain doesn't look as bad when it starts to fail and the prep work for a fresh coat is greatly reduced. Short of removing the paint on the posts you could paint them a color that would coincide with the stain on the rails.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 02:16 PM
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Fencing Complete.

I decided to use 1x6 Pressure Treated. Mission accomplished. Thanks for all of the input. I'll post some pictures as soon as I have some time to upload them.
 
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