Demand for Fencing Is Surging Despite Higher Costs

November 24, 2020

While homeowners may be feeling more neighborly, they also are seeking greater privacy and security. That has sparked an increased demand for residential fences.

The rising requests for fences from homeowners, combined with a shortage of lumber and other materials, has sparked higher prices and longer waits for installation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Harwell Fencing in Los Angeles reports a 60% spike in inquiries for fences since the COVID-19 outbreak. Owner Arian Harwell told The Wall Street Journal that most of the homeowners are requesting “wall toppers,” a wood fence installed atop a masonry wall to add height and enclosure to their property.

Wood is the most commonly used fence material for home residences, according to Home Innovation Research Labs’ 2019 report. However, the price of pressure-treated wood is about triple what it cost at the beginning of 2020. As such, homeowners are facing higher prices for their fences. Also, wood is the least durable fencing material, which requires upkeep and repair from homeowners.

PVC and other plastic fence materials also are growing more popular. Metal fences (such as wrought iron, ornamental steel, and aluminum) are as well, but still comprise only about 2% of the market share. Chain-link fencing is on the decline, according to the report.

Homeowners considering a fence should make sure to follow approval protocols before installation. For example, many homeowners must first get approval from their community’s homeowners association. They also will likely be required to get a survey completed prior to avoid any future boundary disputes with neighbors. Owners also may need to get a permit from their municipality before getting a fence.

Source: 
Demand for New Fences Meets a Nationwide Lumber Shortage,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 17, 2020) [Log-in required.]