Lowe's/Home Depot and Vinyl Fencing

secsteveNovember 2, 2011

I posted last year about our deteriorating wooden fence and asked if invisible fence was a good idea. After reading all the posts we went with cleaning and repainting it.

Unfortunately, the guy didn't do as good as a job as we'd expected, so we've finally decided to replace it.

Since the wood has deteriorated so badly, we have decided to go with Vinyl after much research on the merits of wood versus vinyl. We're getting estimates from fencing companies as to the cost to replace the wood fence. One of the people we interviewed for yard work also installs fences as an ancillary service. We'd need to buy the vinyl and he'd install it.

Two of the fencing companies we've talked to have said NOT to buy vinyl fencing from either Lowe's or Home Depot as the quality isn't as good as what the two claim.

I've done some on line checking, but have found very little to support this statement.

Has anyone used either HD or Lowe's Vinyl fencing and had any problem?


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We bought some in 1998 from Home Depot. I hope what they sell these days is better. It wasn't very sturdy and it cracked in places. It would have been better if not so hollow. We ended up replacing it about 10 years later with fencing that looks like wrought iron, but isn't. (I think it's aluminum?) I especially like the look...it just sorta blends into the scenery better.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Did you put wood inside the posts?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 4:09PM
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Vinyl does not hold up in weather, rain-sun-snow etc. I would go with a chain link fence, and you can put somthing like slats so it is harder to see thru. Make sure it USA or Canadia made, because much of the material is coming from outside and is just not holding up.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 4:34PM
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I don't know about fencing, but I'll tell you what the story is about flooring and these big box stores. I bet it's the same. They buy poor quality products from China and other countries and they market it and display it in a way that it APPEARS to be the same quality as something you'd get from a regular store. It might look the same but it might be a tiny bit thinner or have less of a finish on it, etc. People buy it because it's cheaper. And truthfully, sometimes folks have no choice. Sometimes crappy flooring is better than no flooring. But that's the thing. None of these big box stores sell products that can compare quality wise. As far as warranties, they count on people losing their paperwork or moving to another home by the time it fails. If you go with them, keep all warranties. Better yet, go to a little guy and tell him the truth. Tell him Lowe's has a product you're considering--can he compete? We sometimes sell our flooring for wholesale just to get the installation. It's the way it is today. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 8:48PM
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Yes, we put wood inside the POSTS, but not, of course, the individual pickets. The CAPS on the posts also broke easily. If you hit the pickets with a weed whacker, they're gonna break! It's unfortunate, because it looked nice at first. If you have young children, I'd say choose something else. (We didn't...ours were all grown.)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:09PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If the product has the same identifying product number and name as that sold elsewhere, then it's the same product. Companies do not make XYZ product on two different production lines. If you choose a Kohler Cimmaron toilet, and it has the same product number at the plumbing supply house, but the plumbing house is selling it for $300 and HD is selling it for $200, then the reason they can sell it at a lower price is the volume purchasing. If it's a Bruce Flooring Woodlands Series 54398 and that's sold elsewhere, then it is the SAME product. A Progress Lighting Alannah pendant #30097 is the same whether you buy it at a box store or a lighting store.

Now, if the product name and identifying number is NOT the same, then it's likely that it is a line that is produced soley for them. Most manufacturers will have a couple of products that they create soley for the box stores--and that control the spec for---that you cannot find at any other stores. Those are the name brand products that can be of lesser quality. Or manufacturer's produce "name brands" just for the box stores, like Kenmore for Sears, or Hampton Bay for HD. A lot of box store flooring is produced especially for them. A lot of their lighting is produced especially for them.

It will be the same with the vinyl fencing. I don't know enough about the manufacturers of vinyl fencing to say if their products are manufactured specifically for them and are of lesser quality than available to professionals, but I do know enough to take that statement with a grain of salt and do the investigating direct at the source with the manufacturer. Ask about the thickness of the vinyl. It's UV resistance. Any internal ribbing for stiffness. Etc. The specs may be the same. Or they may not. But anyone who would tell you this story needs to be able to back it up with actual facts, not hearsay. It's a sales pressure tactic and not necessarily a factual statement.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Hollysprings, if the numbers are exactly the same, that's true. But always remember to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. The big box stores will often nickle and dime the customer to death, adding on charges for things like measuring the job, glue, etc. You also have to be really stringent about making sure the flooring really is the same flooring. They sell a lot of products that are deceptively similar and you might not notice a different number. Sometimes it's the same product but the grade is lower. And of course, if you need it installed, you will get better service from the little guy who has his heart and soul in his shop.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 10:34PM
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The fencing from HD and Lowes is thinner than what many fence companies use (but not all). Recently was looking at some HD/Lowes fencing and you really do have to call the manufacturer to find out thickness, AND you have to ask the same questions of the fence companies. For example, one HD/Lowes style of 6' privacy fencing I was looking at (manufactured in the USA by Barrette) had 0.035" thick pickets, 0.065" rails and 0.135" thick posts, while the fence companies vinyl had 0.050" pickets, 0.080" rails and 0.150" thick posts. So as you can see there is a definite material difference. However just having thinner material doesn't mean HD/Lowes fence product isn't any good, just that it probably won't be as strong. But the real important question is how strong do you need, and would 0.035" pickets be strong enough? Answers to questions like this seem scarce on the internet, so all you find are fence companies saying they use thicker material that will be stronger, but again, maybe I don't care if what HD/Lowes has is already good enough, especially given the cost savings. Obviously we don't want pickets bowing and blowing off the rails b/c of a 30 mph wind gust, so they do need some strength. From what I've found reading reviews on HD/Lowes, is their fencing seems to hold up just fine, in fact one reviewer said their fence held up perfectly against hurricane Sandy this last year, and another reviewer in Arizona (where they have very high winds) also has had no issue with pickets blowing off in the wind. The other issue about vinyl falling apart after 5 or 10 years did used to be true, based on my internet searches, but apparently that was vinyl fencing made without UV inhibitors (TiO2) and impact modifiers, so it got brittle, flaked, turned yellow, fell down when hit by a weed whacker, etc, but no one (except maybe imported stuff) uses that anymore. The other big thing is to avoid any fencing that requires brackets to hold it together, make sure you buy the kind with holes in the posts for the rails, and make sure you get tongue and groove pickets with u-channels (some styles at HD/Lowes have both, but others don't, so review their listings very carefully). I guess my conclusion would be if you buy the right type of fence from HD/Lowes, you will probably do just fine and save quite a bit of money (though you don't want to have them do the install b/c they'll nail you on that)!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Here in New England, I've seen many vinyl fences caved in by winter's end due to accumulating snow load, typically along a street where the snow is repeatedly plowed up against the fence line. It appears that the individual slats or panels just pop out too easily under pressure. Seems to be a fundamental design flaw, but I couldn't say whether it is any worse with big-box store brands.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 10:25AM
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We installed a single vinyl privacy fence panel from Menards a couple of years ago and it got warped by our neighbor's grill. It turns out that the manufacturer is no longer making the panels. I would recommend buying extra panels of whatever you buy.

This post was edited by newbuyer2007 on Sat, May 25, 13 at 19:35

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 7:34PM
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