Fence Decorations/by FDS ADMIN
Composite Fencing – the growth of a new generation of fencing product
Each year, new products are introduced at FENCETECH. Timing, cost, demand, and practicality are some of the factors that impact the potential success of new offerings. Some will fail to take hold. However, some products establish a foothold because they are viable solutions that fulfill a market need. The best new products typically have some historical precedence or key attribute that fill the niche that they serve. PVC fencing, manufactured ornamental steel and aluminum systems, and simulated rock walls are all game-changing products that at some point were “new-to-market.” They addressed a growing demand for low-maintenance products. In privacy fencing, plastic-based products that simulated traditional wood designs have established themselves as the best alternatives overall given their anticipated longevity and low maintenance requirements. Vinyl fencing in particular has grown aggressively to claim significant market share for privacy fencing.
It’s natural that newer products build on the successes of their predecessors, and then add refinements to address previous limitations. In our industry, wood fencing traditionally addressed the needs for privacy, and containment or exclusion, but as consumers increasingly find their time consumed with priorities other than maintaining a fence, the demand has amplified a low-maintenance requirement. Synthetic products such as PVC were developed as the next generation of privacy fencing. Over the years, vinyl and similar fencing performed well as a solution for the market needs. However, many products have inherent limitations that do not make them a complete solution. This is true for vinyl fencing. Although vinyl offers low maintenance and expense, the product has challenges in terms of durability and aesthetics. As a relatively lightweight product, production and transportation costs are lower but less material also increases the risk of degradation or damage in comparison to other more durable products. There is also something to be said about the impact of subjectivity. Buyers don’t just purchase based on price or performance. Decisions are heavily affected by the consumer’s individual sensibilities. What appeals to some may not appeal to all.
Costs for composites are higher than wood or vinyl. The manufacturing process adds a labor and material acquisition element that does not exist with wood and, though pound-for-pound a composite product is more in line with the cost of vinyl, the significantly higher volume of material in a composite means higher cost. However, the cost benefit over time is clear once the lifetime of a fence is considered.
In a recent study by SBI Reports, forecasted demand for alternative fencing will continue to grow with composites growing the fastest. A case study for Highlands Ranch Metro District in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area was developed to evaluate various materials and design for appearance, life span, structural integrity, costs, and construction logistics. Several conclusions led to the selection of composite fencing as the best overall solution:
- The posts are as durable as needed and more attractive than masonry.
- The fence wall has a smaller footprint which was important to reduce utility conflicts.
- Requirements for long-term maintenance – staining, post replacement, reduced impact from damage such as snow plowing and low-impact situations – are lower overall than other products compared.
- The analysis indicates that while costs for installation of Trex (the selected brand of composite) are higher at the outset, virtually all of the costs are front-loaded. Comparatively, over the lifespan of fence, the outlay of a wood fence matches Trex at around 10 years and continues to rise while the costs of a Trex product remains constant over its 25-year warranted period. The overall longevity of the fence is anticipated to be 40+ years.
This type of analysis, although perhaps more thorough than an average consumer is likely to perform, creates a growing awareness of the benefits of composite fencing. Consumers expectations of better solutions for low-maintenance fencing will cause the market to continue growing.
The introduction of products creates challenges for fence contractors and their suppliers both in creating a successful sales strategy and becoming acclimated to building with the new product. The economic downturn over the last several years has been disruptive to the traditional business model of standing pat on a core competency. As their consumer base shrinks, the contractors that selectively expand their portfolio of products will have a competitive advantage over those that do not adapt. For the short term, the contractors that make an early entry into composite fencing will be able to differentiate themselves until composites become a more widely accepted commodity as vinyl fencing has become.
As mentioned, while a fence is primarily a functional element, aesthetics matter. In privacy fencing, this is particularly true because of the high visibility of the object. A consumer that is willing to invest in the landscaping of their property is likely to see a fence as an extension of their living space environment. Manufacturers of composites generally have taken one of two approaches with their products: 1) create a design that simulates a wood fence (examples are Timbertech FenceScapes and Fiberon Fencing), or 2) create a distinct design with a premium appearance. In the former, the advantage of a composite is that part of the material is composed of natural material, typically wood or another form of reclaimed organic waste. This gives the product a more wood-like appearance and texture, and is much less reflective than vinyl. In the latter, a well-designed composite fence takes advantage of the natural attributes of its wood-based elements but because it is a manufactured product, the dimensions and aesthetics of the fence can carry a look of exceptional quality and greater value.
The benefit of a simulated look is that if a proximity to a wood appearance is preferred, composites are the best low-maintenance alternative. Composites tend to hold a richer color value than vinyl, have excellent durability, and perform better in the elements over time. However, cost becomes an issue with this design. The traditional stockade (dog-ear) style fence is more expensive than a similar wood fence, so the low-maintenance benefit may not be enough to overcome the price difference. Adding fascia rails or a top “cap” rail to create a more attractive design increases the cost, further challenging the justification for a higher-cost composite.
System-oriented fencing, on the other hand, can differ considerably in appearance but can keep the costs closer to a stockade style composite fence. Trex in particular has been successful with this design. The picture frame, shadow box (board-on-board) design creates an identical look for both sides of the fence. This is significant, particularly in residential installations where neighbors often share the cost of a fence. The fencing also centers within the post profile making it easy to center the fence on property lines. Despite its durability and strength, no composite is load bearing so the propensity for sagging is quite high. Rather than using treated wood support rails, however, the Trex fence design uses a metal (galvanized steel or aluminum) bottom rail which supports the entire fence. Because the fence is also constructed in components, the number of fasteners required is fewer than traditional wood or other composite fences.
Another unique element of a composite product is that they typically made from at least some recycled content. As sustainable building gains ground in public interest and in building requirements, composites are increasingly included in plan specifications. Timbertech, Fiberon, Terra Fence, and Trex use 51%, 84%, 94% and 95% recycled content respectively. All have green manufacturing processes as well and qualify for U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification points. Partially due to”green” criteria, Trex was selected recently in a Utah for public transportation initiative to run approximately 17,000 along a light rail line. The U.S. Forestry service also selected the product for the Black Hills National Park in South Dakota for similar reasons.
Composite fencing as a next-generation product
Composite products have risen in recent years as a newer generation alternative to wood and fully-plastic materials. Composites combine natural and man-made elements for a stronger and aesthetically different product than traditional PVC-based materials. They have been substantially successful in decking, siding, and flooring applications gaining traction year-over-year. Companies like Fiberon, Nature’s Composites, Timbertech, and Trex that have been successful previously with composite decking or other products began introducing composite fencing profiles in the mid-2000’s.
Until recently, adoption of composites in fencing has lagged. Key limiting factors were poor product design and quality, high production costs, and difficulties in using traditional distribution channels. Introducing new products also mean significant investment in marketing to build product and brand awareness. In principle, the key attributes of composites dictate that they are the most likely alternative to vinyl fencing. Composites are stronger and more durable than other synthetic products. They use a dense, thick-wall profile that makes them resistant to the types of breakage common in vinyl or other PVC products. For example, in tests where Trex Seculsions posts and pickets were subjected to strikes from objects such as gravel, golf balls, and baseballs, the material did not break. In a Miami-Dade County wind test, Trex also performed well sustaining 110 mph constant and 130 mph burst speeds with no failure.
Extend Outdoor Living
Building a fence or deck is a great way to extend your living space beyond the walls of your home. With recently improved color and railing options for composite decking, you have virtually endless design capabilities.
Composite materials are an innovative building solution that combines plastic and wood by integrating the best qualities of both – composites will no rot and do not need to be stained.
A great imagination and a great contractor can help you create an extension of your living space that is both unique and complementary to your home and personality.
Another key part to your outdoor living experience is a fence. Fences provide safety, security and privacy. If the correct product is chosen, a fence will also provide an attractive and durable backdrop for your yard and landscape.
Cedar fencing has typically been the fence of choice for beauty and strength. However, because of maintenance connected with wood, vinyl has become increasingly popular despite its lower strength and limited aesthetic appeal.
Now, new composite fencing products such as Trex (the leader in composite decking) have come to the market to offer the same qualities and benefits as their popular composite decking. Providing the beauty and strength of wood and the ease and care of vinyl fencing products, this product is also available in several colors: Saddle, Madeira, Woodland Brown and Winchester Grey. This palette of eye-catching colors can be matched to your deck, trim or siding to help complement your beautiful home and landscape.
Eco Friendly Product
What do you get when you combine school children, plastic bags, and math? You get a Trex Product! Matoaca Middle School in Chesterfield, Virginia and Trex building products have teamed up for the second year. Students collect and count plastic shopping bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags and food bags. After counting the bags, students graph the data for use in math and science class activities. Trex processes the plastic bags into alternative decking and patio materials.
Trex Seclusions fencing and decking products are serious about the commitment to the environment. Back that with Trex’s unmatched 25-year limited fade and stain warranty and all your left to worry about is if your house will last as long as your deck. This is why Fence & Deck Supply is proud to be Utah’s Trex Fencing supplier.
Composite Fence Overview
Composite fencing looks and feels like a real wood fence, but it is not. It is generally made from recycled materials such as plastic and wood fibers.
What is Composite Fencing?
The “composite” in composite fencing refers to the process of binding two or more dissimilar materials together to create something new and generally stronger. In this case wood fibers and plastic. Years before there was composite fencing, composite lumber was used mostly in decks. Composite lumber can be a lot more expensive than wood, and it was a long time before the companies that made composite decks had a lot of requests for composite fences. It was easier for people to justify to themselves that the expense was worth it when it came to something that they used almost everyday for activities ranging from relaxing in the sun to hosting a family barbecue. Eventually the increasing demand for low-maintenance “green” materials had people looking to composite lumber for their fencing needs too.
Composite fencing has a wide variety of uses. It doesn’t rot or decay, so it is ideal for constructing a compost bin. You can also use it to build a privacy fence for your pool or hot tub. Before you purchase the materials, though, make sure it won’t stain if splashed with chlorinated water. If you are looking to fence in your yard to keep kids and pets in or unwanted visitors out, the strength and durability of composite fencing as opposed to vinyl fencing makes it the better choice.
Fence Market Rebound
Rebound in the fencing market is predicted for the next few years until 2016 and what are the top fences that consumers will be seeking? Consumers will be requesting high-value fencing materials like ornamental, plastic, and composite fence. Yes, composite fences like Trex fencing (www.TrexFencingFDS.com) which is the leading composite fence system on the market produced by Trex Company Incorporated.
What is a Trex composite fence? Composite fence materials are made from reclaimed wood fibers and plastic materials. These two ingredients provide the best fence product in the fence market. Composite fences acquire the best of a wood fence with strength and appearance (natural feel) and the best of vinyl fence with the low-maintenance aspect. A Trex composite fence is very durable, wood-like, low-maintenance: no painting or staining, engineered, proven, tested, and backed by a 25-year residential warranty.
Read the report on the US Fencing Market below published by www.Reportlinker.com.
NEW YORK, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:
US demand to rise 7.1% annually through 2016
Demand for fencing in the US is forecast to expand 7.1 percent per year to $8.3 billion in 2016, totaling 835 million linear feet. Growth will be driven by an expected rebound in building construction from a depressed 2011 base. In addition, advances will be supported by rising use of high-value fencing materials, such as ornamental metal and plastic and composite lumber. Consumers will opt for these materials because of their favorable aesthetic qualities and performance properties.
Residential fencing market to outpace nonresidential
The residential market accounted for the largest share of fencing demand in 2011 and will remain the market leader in 2016. Demand for fencing in residential building construction applications is forecast to increase at an above-average pace through 2016, fueled by a rebound in housing completions. Further growth will be supported by the large residential replacement segment, which will benefit from a recovery in improvement and repair spending. Nonresidential fencing demand will see strong gains through 2016. Increasing nonresidential building construction — particularly in the office and commercial segment — will stimulate demand. Fences are often installed around nonresidential structures to provide security barriers and to demarcate property lines. Fencing demand in the non building and agricultural markets will rise modestly through 2016. Gains will be moderated by the prevalence of low-cost materials, such as wood and metal wire, in these markets.
Plastic, composite fencing to be fastest growing
Among fencing materials, plastic and composite lumber is forecast to see the most rapid growth in demand through 2016. Plastic and composite materials often resembles natural wood, but has minimal maintenance needs and has a longer lifespan than wood fencing. Plastic and composite lumber is also seen as being a “green” material because it is often made from recycled materials, such as reclaimed plastics and wood scraps. In 2011, metal fencing accounted for the largest share of the fencing market in both dollar value and linear feet. Chain link fencing is often used to mark boundaries and secure properties, while ornamental metal fencing is erected around houses and businesses to form an aesthetically pleasing barrier. Demand for metal fencing will increase in line with the industry average through 2016, with ornamental fencing fortifying gains. In addition to the rebound in housing activity, some business owners will opt for ornamental fencing to serve as an aesthetically pleasing alternative to chain link and wire fencing. Wood fencing demand will advance at a below-average pace through 2016. This material is most often utilized in the residential market because of its low cost and favorable aesthetics. However, demand for wood fencing will be checked by competition from plastic and composite fencing. Concrete and other fencing materials will see solid gains through 2016. Demand for concrete fences will be supported by strong interest in concrete and other materials for use in privacy fences. Moreover, concrete fencing offers a high degree of protection from damages caused by impacts and explosives.
Details on these and other key findings are contained in the upcoming Fencing. It presents historical demand data (2001, 2006 and 2011) plus forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by material, market and US region. In addition, the study assesses market environment factors, examines the industry structure, evaluates company market share, and profiles 36 competitors in the US industry.
To order this report:
Building Material Industry: US Fencing Market
Check our Industry Analysis and Insights
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To request more information about Trex composite fencing please contact Trex Company Inc. national fence distributor below.
Trex Fencing – FDS Fence Distributors
National Sales Team