I have a damaged fence. Should I repair it or replace it?
The answer to this question will depend on the amount of damage and to which areas of the fence are in need of repair. A fence is usually comprised of a combination of individual posts and panels. If you happen to have several wobbly or shaky fence posts, then these can easily be either replaced or reinstalled to become more firmly in place. As long as the adjacent fence panels are in good condition, these can simply be reattached.
You can also replace individual panels, as long as you can find ones that match the existing fence. Sometimes, an individual panel can be repaired, especially in cases where it is simply becoming detached from the fence posts. But if either panels or posts are beginning to show signs of wood rot or are becoming dried and cracked due to weather and age, then replacement may be your best option.
It is usually recommended to replace an entire fence if more than 50% of the fence is in an aging state of disrepair. Since one of the main purposes of a fence to provide safety and security, you may not want to take chances. Besides, the costs of time and money associated with the repairs or replacements of lots of individual posts and panels may far exceed the total cost of a brand new fence. And “brand new” always looks much better than a fence that has been repaired over and over again.
Fence repair of posts and panels is not all that difficult, unless the fence posts are embedded in concrete. This may require a bit of jackhammering and some rather back breaking labor. But any strongly built fence should last for about 15 to 20 years. Beyond that age, you may want to consider a total replacement.