comparison of two vinyl picket fence designs in different price ranges
Photo: Ted Morrison

Save or Splurge?

Sapling fences sprang up in colonial times, their sharp points a reminder to keep one's distance. Over the years they morphed into flat, unpainted stakes and then into decorative white pickets, leaving only the question of how to avoid repainting them. And that led to vinyl versions, now more popular than ever. Here are two, both U.S.-made in virgin vinyl. The budget choice has an innovative matte finish, available in 32 colors, and the high-end one is more solidly engineered. Prices don't include posts, caps—or installation, which is key to performance over the long haul.
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