Treated Pickets vs. Cedar Pickets
At Pecos Fence, we build A LOT of privacy fence and we sell thousands of pickets to the public each month. We could easily sell treated pickets in pine, but we choose cedar instead.
Well, basically it comes down to our warranty. We began many years ago (1976 in Austin as Viking Fence) using that very same treated pine product. However, as a reputable builder, we found that these treated pickets would often warp, shrink, and crack. AND, the sun makes any outdoor damage worse. Although these pickets are more economical than cedar, we found that we were rebuilding fence after fence made from PTP (pressure treated pine).
What Are the Advantages of Cedar?
Cedar is naturally resistant to warping and bugs. It shrinks less than PTP over time and tends to last many years. Its comparatively low required maintenance make it a smart investment. It is more expensive the PTP, but the incentives for splurging, in this case, far outweigh the cons.
Is Cedar Perfect?
Well, no. The argument against cedar usually comes down to one main argument – it is subject to rot in wet climates. So, as one of our customers recently pointed out, “If we were on the coast, it would be pressure treated pickets all day long.” But, instead, we’re here in the sunny hill country. That’s not to say that we don’t have recommendations when using cedar. For one thing, definitely go with pressure treated posts or set your cedar posts in concrete. Also, keep your cedar fence away from an area where you are using pool chemicals, lawn chemicals or an automatic watering system.
We also recommend using a rot board on the bottom of your fence. Then, instead of your fence needing to be replaced due to any wear and tear, you would only replace the rot board under your fence but we recommend that no matter what type of wood picket you use.