Fence Posts: Treated Pine vs. Hollow Plastic
Fence posts are an essential part of any fence construction. They are vertical structures that support the weight and tension of the fence. Fence posts can be made of various materials, such as wood, metal, or plastic.
When selecting fence posts for your property, you should consider the type of fencing you plan to use, as well as the reasons for choosing that particular style of fencing. You should also think about which type of fence post would best complement and support your chosen fencing.
If you have already learnt about different types of fence posts and have narrowed down your research on two common options seen on equine properties– Treated Pine and Hollow plastic fence posts, then this article is the perfect next step for you.
Choosing the right fence posts is critical for the success of your fencing project. They will impact the aesthetics, safety and strength of your entire fencing. So, it’s important to dive into the details and understand the advantages and disadvantages of both Treated Pine and Hollow Plastic fence posts. So, you can avoid making a decision that could be detrimental to the look and functionality of your property.
At Stock & Noble, we provide the finest fencing solutions to high-end property owners across Australia and New Zealand. Our products are carefully chosen based on their proven safety, durability and global success. Hogan Plastic Fence Post is no exception. It’s our product and we might appear biased towards its benefits. However, we will honestly share fact-based information to help you choose the product that’s right for your property.
In this blog, you will get an in-depth comparison between the two fence posts driven by 9 critical parameters – durability, accessibility, aesthetics, installation, horse safety, maintenance, termite resistance, and cost.
In the end, you will be well-equipped with the relevant information to decide which fence post is perfect for you, your property and your vision.
Factor 1: The durability of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
Treated pine fence posts have been known for their durability, especially when treated with preservatives to resist rot and decay.
Unfortunately, the quality of Treated pine fence posts has gradually declined over the last few decades due to environmental considerations. About 20 to 30 years ago, the chemical treatment used for the Treated pine fence posts was stronger, and as a result, the posts were in good condition even after two decades. However, modern pine fence posts do not have the same level of longevity or quality due to the use of lesser chemicals.
Despite this, there hasn’t been a significant change in the product’s performance as it hasn’t started breaking down yet. It remains to be seen whether this poor quality will become evident in the next ten years.
Treated pine fence posts typically last between one to ten years, with some potentially lasting longer in certain environments. In contrast, Hogan plastic fence posts can last for over 30 years, despite environmental factors.
Hollow plastic fence posts typically have a lifespan of at least three to four times longer, if not more, than that of Treated pine fence posts.
Factor 2: Accessibility of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
Treated pine fence posts have been used for decades and are typically stocked in every rural outpost across Australia. They are a quick and easy option, readily available, and familiar to many. As a result, they are often the go-to choice for many property owners when it comes to fence post options.
Hollow plastic fence posts are a relatively new product in Australia, and fewer fencing contractors or customers are familiar with them. It is essential to be more organised and plan when using this product, as it may not always be readily available.
Before you begin your fencing project it’s best to check the availability of Hollow plastic fence posts from your supplier.
At present, Treated pine fence posts have higher accessibility than Hollow plastic fence posts. Nevertheless, as the demand for hollow plastic fence posts increases, more and more places will likely begin to make this product available.
Factor 3: Suitability of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts for an equine property
Both Treated pine and Hollow plastic fence posts have their pros and cons and may be suitable for an equine property depending on specific needs.
Treated pine fence posts are a popular choice for equine properties due to their affordability, ease of installation, and durability. However, horses may chew on the wooden posts, which can lead to damage and shorten their lifespan. Some horse owners are also concerned about the ingestion of chemicals by their horses as they crib on Treated pine.
The good news is Hollow plastic fence posts are not not ‘chewable’ so both the horses and the posts remain in good health!
The use of plastic fence posts can help keep cribbers in check and protect their health as well as the property from losing its looks and maintain the structural integrity of the fence posts.
Factor 4: Visual aesthetics of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
Treated pine fence posts have a traditional, rustic appearance that many people find familiar. Hollow plastic fence posts, on the other hand, have a modern, sleek appearance that can complement a variety of fencing styles.
Treated pine fence posts in our opinion have a standard, average look and do not appear particularly good or bad. In contrast, the black or white hollow plastic fence posts have a pleasing appearance both up close and from a distance.
However, you can enhance the looks of Treated pine fence posts by investing time and money in painting them. It’s best to use high-quality and long-lasting fence paints. Over time, the wood tends to warp and paint may fade, which can detract from its visual appeal.
Unlike wood, plastic fence posts are resistant to fading and warping, which can help maintain their beauty over time.
Eventually, in terms of aesthetics, the choice between Treated pine fence posts and hollow plastic fence posts will depend on personal preference and the specific look you’re going for.
Factor 5: Installation of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
Treated pine fence posts are quick to install as they can be simply rammed in and are easy to handle. Most contractors are familiar with this material, and end assemblies can be built using pine posts.
Comparatively, hollow plastic fence posts are not as easy to work with since they are more ‘springy’ when rammed in. This can mean that ‘pre-drilling’ is required on rocky or hard ground. However, they are lighter to handle than pine which most fencing contractors enjoy!
Moreover, using Hollow plastic fence posts requires additional planning, as steel or timber end assemblies must be used.
Overall, Treated pine fence posts are easier and faster to install on most properties.
Factor 6: Maintenance of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
Maintaining Treated pine fence posts might include staining or painting every few years and treating them with preservatives to prevent rot.
Hollow plastic fence posts, on the other hand, require less maintenance. They don’t need painting or staining, and they are resistant to rot and decay. However, they may require occasional cleaning to remove dirt and debris.
Both types of posts are relatively easy to maintain. Unless you choose to paint your Treated pine fence posts.
Factor 7: Termite resistance of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
Hogan posts or Hollow plastic fence posts are termite-proof and will remain so indefinitely.
In contrast, Treated pine posts may be considered termite-resistant, but the treatment only covers the outer layer of the post. A bit like looking at the cut end of a radish where the colour only penetrates the outer layer. In Australia’s hot and dry climate, soft pine can open up, with some cracks penetrating close to the untreated core of the post providing access for termites.
Factor 8: Environmental impact of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
Using pine for fencing requires cutting down trees, which can be detrimental to the environment. Additionally, the chemical treatment used on Pine fence posts could potentially harm the health of horses.
Hollow plastic fence posts, on the other hand, are made from recycled materials and are more environmentally friendly. They pose no threat to the health of horses and are also recyclable at the end of their lifespan.
Factor 9: Cost of Treated Pine Fence Posts vs. Hollow Plastic Fence Posts
When it comes to pricing, a 2.1-meter long and 120mm diameter Treated pine post costs approximately $25 including GST.
In comparison, the same size Hogan plastic fence post costs $38.5, including GST.
(However, with Hogan posts, the cost may include additional freight charges, depending on the location.)
Overall Treated pine fence posts are typically less expensive than hollow plastic fence posts, making them a more budget-friendly option. However, the cost of installation and maintenance over the lifespan of the fence should also be taken into consideration.
Hollow plastic fence posts may cost more initially, but they have a longer life and require less maintenance, which could result in cost savings over time.
Which fence post is right for my property?
You are looking for fence posts to complement your fencing and wanted to know whether Treated pine or Hollow Plastic fence posts are right for your property.
Now you know that both treated pine and hollow plastic fence posts have their advantages and disadvantages. Hollow plastic fence posts are a relatively new product in the market and offer several benefits over traditional materials. They are eco-friendly, durable, and resistant to rot and insect damage. Unlike pine posts, they are not as appealing to horses, reducing the likelihood of chewing damage. However, plastic fence posts can be more expensive than other materials and may not be as readily available in some areas.
Ultimately, the choice between Treated pine and Hogan plastic fence posts will depend on several factors, including a budget, availability, and personal preference. The most important factor is the kind of fencing you plan to attach to the post. It’s also essential to consider the specific needs of the property and consult with a fencing professional to determine the best option for the particular situation.
If you are building an equine property, choosing the right fence post is even more critical to ensure the safety and well-being of your animals. So, before you decide it will be worth learning about the best practices to choose a fence post for your horse property. If you need further guidance, we are available for a conversation on all things fencing and everything that can help you create the signature property of your dreams.