Vinyl Vs. Aluminum Fences: What Are The Major Differences?

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

Homeowners have a wide array of options to choose from if they want to install fencing. Surround your home with wooden fencing if you want a more traditional option. Installing wrought iron fencing makes a lot of sense if you want enhanced security.

Additional options you can install include vinyl and aluminum fences. So, what can you expect if you decide to use those fencing materials?

If you want more privacy, you should choose vinyl over aluminum fences. However, aluminum fences are sturdier and that allows them to absorb more impact. For those concerned about maintenance requirements, both aluminum and vinyl fences are easy to clean so don’t worry about that.

Should you go with vinyl or aluminum fencing for your property? Come up with your own answer to that question after reading through the details we’ve included in this article.

Do You Need Fence Installation or Repair Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Comparing and Contrasting Vinyl and Aluminum Fences

Different kinds of materials are now used for the purposes of creating fencing around properties. Home and business owners don’t always have to go with wood, chain link, or iron all the time.

Aluminum and vinyl fences have become more prevalent among homeowners. They are often regarded as practical options that fit well into residential options.

Take the time to evaluate aluminum and vinyl fencing options before deciding which one you want to install around your home. Read through the sections below and see what you’re potentially getting from vinyl and aluminum fences.


A lot of homeowners are interested in adding fencing to their property because they want more privacy. You don’t necessarily want people to be able to see into your home as they’re walking down the street. Add fencing to your curtains or blinds and you can keep those prying eyes blocked.

Installing some kind of fencing for privacy also makes sense if you have young kids. Your kids may want to play in your yard from time to time. Keep them shielded as they play in your yard by putting up fencing.

If your goal with your fencing is to maintain your privacy, you should choose vinyl over aluminum. Vinyl works great as a privacy fence because there are no sizable gaps between the slats. People passing by cannot look through those openings.

Vinyl fences are also available in more height options. You can get the extra tall fences if you want as much privacy as possible.

Aluminum fences are not really optimized for the sake of privacy. There are other materials that work better if you want privacy fencing.


Fences can do more than just protect your privacy. They can also serve as a protective barrier. If something is heading in the direction of your yard, the fence can act as a deterrent to it.

Aluminum fences are stronger than their vinyl counterparts. They will work well on your property if you want a sturdy barrier.

The thing about aluminum fences is that they do bend, but they won’t break. Aluminum fences will bend to absorb impact better. That is crucial if you want to keep your home protected as much as possible.

Vinyl fences don’t possess that same ability to bend that aluminum fences do. If something collides with a vinyl fence at a high speed, the fence itself could break. You cannot rely on it too much as a protective barrier.

There are better options than aluminum if you want secure fencing. However, aluminum does fare better than vinyl in that regard.


Adding new fencing to your home is a significant expense. You may end up having to pay thousands of dollars for a new fence. If you’re paying that much, you obviously want the fence to last as long as possible.

Thankfully, both aluminum and vinyl fences excel in terms of durability. You can count on them to protect your property for many years to come.

Vinyl fences lasting for 30 years is normal. Take good care of them and they can stand on your property even longer.

The remarkable durability of vinyl fences is a big reason why they have become so popular. Still, aluminum fences excel even further in that regard.

An aluminum fence can last for a lifetime on your property. Continuous exposure to the sun will affect its appearance over time, but you can remedy that easily. Painting your aluminum fence once its color starts to fade should make it look brand new.

Styling Options

We cannot say which one is better between vinyl and aluminum fences in terms of looks because that matter is subjective. You will have to decide what kind of fence looks best around your property.

Interestingly enough, both aluminum and vinyl look a lot like other materials often used to make fences. Aluminum can be crafted in such a way that it bears a close resemblance to an iron fence. Meanwhile, vinyl is meant to recreate the appearance of a wooden barrier.

It is worth noting that aluminum and vinyl don’t look exactly like the other materials they’re supposed mimic. That said, both materials can still work as terrific aesthetic additions to your property. Consider installing them if you want to refresh the look of your home.

Color Options

Colorful fences are not very common, but there are still some options available if you’re going with aluminum. You should be able to find aluminum fences that are available in black, blue, brown, gray, silver, and white.

Those are probably the most common color options for aluminum fences. Admittedly, that’s not the widest selection available. It still beats the range you’re getting if you’re sticking to vinyl fences though.

Color options for vinyl fencing are very limited. The main color option is white and you only get some slight variations from that. Vinyl fences in dark colors are very uncommon.

The range of available color options for vinyl is disappointing. The lack of color options could mean that you cannot use vinyl fencing even if you like its other qualities.

Ease of Installation

We already touched on how expensive new fencing can be. Given how much the fencing materials cost, you may be looking to save on installation. So, can you install vinyl and aluminum fences on your own? You may make some mistakes if you’re handling the installation for the first time, but it can be done.

Manufacturers will often include the instructions you need to finish the installation. Stick to those steps and you should be able to get the job done.

Installing vinyl and aluminum fences is also easier for inexperienced DIYers because they’re lightweight. You won’t have to strain yourself just to get the panels into the correct positions.

Vinyl and aluminum fence panels are typically packaged differently. Aluminum fence panels often come pre-assembled so that’s one less thing you have to worry about. The vinyl panels still have to be assembled but that’s easy enough. The panels are often designed to snap into place. You can set them up easily too,

Maintenance Requirements

Some fences require a lot of maintenance work. You need to monitor them closely to see if any issues have popped up. They may also require some form of special treatment if you want them to retain their appearance.

Thankfully, maintenance is not much of an issue with both aluminum and vinyl fences. All they really need is regular cleaning.

Monthly cleaning should suffice for aluminum and vinyl fences. You also don’t have to purchase any special cleaning items. Using soap and water is good enough for that monthly cleaning.


Finally, let’s tackle the matter of cost as it related to vinyl and aluminum fencing. Vinyl fencing comes out a bit less expensive compared to aluminum. The difference may amount to about $500 or so.

Although vinyl fencing is cheaper, you can still argue that aluminum fencing is the wiser investment. Vinyl fences can last for a long time but they still have to be replaced eventually.

Remember that aluminum fences can last for a lifetime. Even if you have to pay more for them upfront, you can end up saving money by going for them immediately.

Do You Need Fence Installation or Repair Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Related Questions

How Do You Dispose of Old Fence Panels?

After settling on new fences to install on your property, you will have to get rid of the old panels somehow. But how exactly should you dispose of your old fence panels?The one thing you absolutely cannot do is just leave them on your curb and wait for the garbage collector to pick them up. The waste management company may not accept the old panels because of how big they are.If you want to dispose of the old fence panels properly, you must call the waste management company ahead of time. Tell them you have old panels that need to be collected. They may have to collect the old panels at a different time, but they will still get to them.Your other option is to hire a private disposal service. Pay them to pick up and dispose of your old fence so you don’t have to worry about it any longer.

Which Fencing Material Lasts the Longest?

Aluminum is probably your best bet if you want a fence that will stand for as long as possible. The only real issue with aluminum is that high impact can damage it.You can install a wrought iron fence instead if you’re worried about powerful forces destroying your aluminum fence. Just keep the wrought iron fence free from rust and it should last for several decades.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

More by Gary Evans