Your fence can serve a number of purposes, including acting simply as a property marker, keeping pets and small children inside the property, or adding an aesthetic quality to your home. Whatever the reason, you want to make sure you have the right fence that goes well with your property, and that is also extremely durable. Wood fences can look very nice, but over time they can be affected by environmental factors like weather damage. Metal can also go a long way to provide a functional, yet aesthetic touch to your property, but it can also be very expensive and rust over time.
Vinyl fencing is a popular alternative to wood or metal fencing among homeowners, but like wood and metal, it is also subject to its own problems. Vinyl fencing can become discolored after several years in the elements, and requires a slightly different setup process than those required for wood or metal fences. While discoloration can be easily fixed by adding another layer, there are a few things you need to be sure you avoid doing when installing your vinyl fence.
Dig shallow holes. One thing you want to be sure to do when you build or install a vinyl fence is to make sure you dig holes that are deep enough for your support posts. Unlike wood and metal, vinyl is an extremely light material, and relies more heavily on the stability of its support structures. Holes that are too shallow present the risk of unstable support, which could cause your fence to become dislodged. Generally speaking, you should dig a hole that is twice the depth of that you would dig for wood or metal, in order to achieve the stability you need.
Position support holes far apart. As was already touched upon in the last point, vinyl is much lighter and not as stable a material as wood or metal. Support posts for wood or metal fences can be spaced farther apart because each individual piece bears a significant amount of weight. Vinyl, however, must be built very close together, and will require more material to achieve, not only stability, but also the desired privacy that comes with having a vinyl fence.
Put too much stress on the vinyl. Vinyl, unlike wood or metal, is more likely to buckle under its own weight owing to the strain involved with setting pieces close together. Despite its resilience, vinyl is still very prone to warping. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done in this case besides relieve some of the stress. To avoid your fence buckling and/or warping, place the posts no more than 1-foot apart to allow for even distribution of weight.
Treat vinyl like wood or metal. Heavier materials like wood and metal do require a bit more effort to get them fully installed and fixed in the ground. Using this same effort to install your vinyl fence, however, is a big mistake. Using such force can cause vinyl to bend and break, which will end up costing you more in the long run and affect the overall quality of your fence. When you get to installing your vinyl fence, dig the support holes first, install the vinyl piece, and then fill the dirt back in to ensure the post is in place.