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.