Monday, October 13, 2008

So which is it?

Can I get a little advice here? I'm closing on my new house on December 1st. Shortly thereafter, I'll be having a cypress "shadow box" fence erected. Now, on the one hand, I've got a painting contractor telling me I should stain it as soon as possible after it goes up. On the other hand, I've got a fencing contractor telling me you should wait "a few months" to let the wood dry because cypress is not kiln dried and is therefore very wet when you get it. A thorough search of the Internet does show some mention of letting cypress dry, but does not say exactly how long. Does anyone out there have any expertise on this subject? Oh, and another thing: a painter tells me it (cypress) does not take paint very well - only penetrating stain. However, a US government publication says it takes paint just fine and paint will last 10 to 20 years versus 5 to 10 years for stain. Quien sabe?


Anonymous said...

Letting it dry in our humid climate could take months depending on the weather. Staining it versus paint, well stain is easier. Cypress is a "stringy" wood and usually isnt sanded down well enough for a good paint. Stain soaks in easier and is easier to make look good because of this. Painting it would be more time consuming, but would ultimately better in the end. It is hard to get a good 5 years out of stain in this climate also. It will dull in just a couple of years leaving you wishing you had painted. I am just speaking from my experience.

Jay Moreno said...


Anonymous said...

If you're going to paint the fence, I'd recommend starting with an oil base primer to seal the wood. You can then go back with latex paint if that's what you want.
Personally, I'm making the move to vinyl fence, section by section. It's a whole lot more expensive but has minimal maintenance, i.e.; pressure washing once a year for asthetics.
Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Our home is lap board cypress, including all trim. It is 15 years old. We have only stained it twice. First stain didn't last long before it started fading, approx. 4 years. We hired a well experienced painting crew the 2nd time 8 years ago and the stain today looks as good as it did when they left. Cypress is very thirty and will require more stain than you would think. We chose a stain with color, in the can it looked just like paint. The biggest benefit to staining is it will never chip or peel. Cypress is also the way to go because it is virtually rot resistant.

Jay Moreno said...

Thanks, all.

I'm leaning towards the cypress and painting it.

You know, at 61 (next month), I was figuring on spending the extra bucks for the vinyl and being done with it, even if it is more expensive than cypress and painting combined. But then, would you beleive a local fence contrator who gaveme a bid and said he would majeke the same profit off of either one, told me this.

A. Mold /mildew grows quite happily on vinyly fencing (though, to be sure, a little blesch will get it off - 'til next time.

B. You can have cypress put up and painted TWICE for the cost of vinyl.

C. If someone prangs your vinyl fence with a riding mower or wind blows a tree down on it several years after installation, there is no guarantee that 1, the original manufacturer will still be in business (he notes that several have gomne out of business in the last few years) and, 2, even if still in business, the manufacturer may not still make your style of panel or gate.

Something to think about. Moreover, the stuff will not hold paint, so you are pretty much stuck with white. And you know the tax assessor grins broadly every time he sees one.

Jay Moreno said...

Speak of the devil: I just now got a call back from a local fencing contractor who had to call his supplier to get latest vinyl prices.

My fence will be 6 feet high and 206 feet long, with one, 4 foot gate.

Cypress: $2,300.

Vinyl: $6,200

Estimated cost to paint cypress fence: $900.

Cypress it is.

Jay Moreno said...

By the way, they have a new product at Lowe's. It's called "composite fencing." Thye have a sample over at the lumber desk. You have to special order it.

The material is a composite of wood fibers and recycled plated, molded into boards and posts with a wood grain texture. It comes in three colors. Guaranteed against warping, cracking, rotting.

Kind of hard to figure out the orice though, unless you want to plunk down a $45.00 fee to have then come out and measure (in spite of my having the exact mneasurements with me) and give you a quote. It appears that it is higher than wood, but less than vinyl (but not by much.) If you're in your 30s or so and planning on staying in the same house for many, many moons, it might be worth checking into. It looks good.

Anonymous said...

The manufacturer is "Woodshades". A 69x71 dogeared panel is aprox. $79.00, end post $33.00, corner post $39.00.

The composite would be great, but not at twice the cost.

Jay Moreno said...

Yep. And the weird thing is that even though it comes pre-assembled
in 6' wide panels, they (Lowe's) price it by the "pickett" at, if memory serves me, $3.49 per pickett.