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medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

Nails or screws on fence?

I am having a fence built around my backyard and I had several guys come out and give me an estimate.

Out of three, one guy, actually my neighbor gave me a quote $400 higher than the other 2.

He is telling me that he is going to use deck screws to fasten the wood to the railings compared to regular nails.

Any advantages to using screws vs. nails?

efflandt

join:2002-01-25
Elgin, IL
How many acres is your backyard. Stainless steel deck screws may be optimal, since would hold better than nails and not rust. But if you price them at Home Depot/Lowes/Menards, I doubt they are $400 more expensive and install with a cordless drill as quickly as hammering nails, maybe even quicker.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX

1 edit
reply to medbuyer
Good coated deck screws will secure a fence to rails so much better than nails. They cost a lot more than nails just to buy. Installation takes longer.

The screw resist loosening up from wind movement. Nails will get looser as time goes on and many deteriorate and bleed on the wood.

The thing is when you pound a nail you're loosening the nails already driven.

If you want the fence to last use screws.


Willy
Premium
join:2000-09-24
USA
kudos:1
reply to medbuyer
Ditto on the screws.


whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9
reply to medbuyer
Screws.


rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
reply to medbuyer
The people who are nailing are probably using a power nailer and not nailing by hand...so there is a bit of a time/labor difference. It's a pain to hand nail on fences because of the flex in the post and the rails.

There are two sides as to which is better....most of it revolves around the quality of the nail or screw used. I always use a quality exterior screw...best hold and still can be removed in a couple of years if a repair is needed.

--
All hail JoePa


Greg_Z
Premium
join:2001-08-08
Springfield, IL
reply to medbuyer
Nail for the fence panels, and screws or bolts on the panels that may need to be removed to gain access to the yard if need be. There is a Holmes on Homes episode where they had to go in and Fence 50 yards, and Mike Holmes had to play Mayor to the neighborhood while doing the job.

»www.holmesonhomes.com/episodes.php?sid=5

PhilAIV

join:2002-02-16
Carrollton, GA
reply to medbuyer
Definitely screws. And here's why:

I live in Georgia and a few days ago a tornado took down half of a kroger grocery. Well, I have a friend who lives about twenty houses down from that kroger and his house / fence didn't have any damage (fence was built with screws), but his neighbor's fence popped apart like a lego set (built w/ nails) Granted, if the tornado would have gotten any closer to his house, his fence would have been a goner regardless, but I would still spend the extra to have it built with screws.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to medbuyer
Another vote for screws. And the labor is not the same for screws and nails. Screws definitely take longer to use. Especially, when the nailing option includes a pneumatic nailer. I used "fluted"(self-drilling) deck screws when I built my deck some years ago. They were almost $5/lb for 3" screws back then. So material cost and labor cost is pretty-well justified.

Screws hold so much better, especially where the wood could be torqued back and forth by the weather/wind.
--
If it's true that we learn from our mistakes, MENSA should honor me with their highest award!


61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1
reply to Greg_Z
I have watched that episode of HOH a few times, the original fence was crap, the materials list for the new fence was amazing, something like 40,000 fence boards .... One thing he stressed was make 100% sure where the property line is and where you can put the fence, the old fence was placed where-ever, which would be a major problem when/if they try to sell, as one of the people stated.

He tends to overkill everything he does, I can only imagine what his prices are like for REAL customers.

He does say his stuff will outlast the person.
--
If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand.


RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2
said by 61999674:

He does say his stuff will outlast the person.
Which is kind of the real question not being asked here...how long does it have to last? It may stand for decades but in less than 10 years it will look like weathered, old wood. There's doing it right and then there is wasting money.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.


Greg_Z
Premium
join:2001-08-08
Springfield, IL
reply to 61999674
They gave the price quote for what the job was just for materials. Labor I imagine it was about average. The best part, was when the work crew showed up to help them out.


61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1
I think the stuff we see on TV are "Make it right" deals and the person gets a special price and a lot of the labor is donated to the cause, the one guy(the master plumber) was at the fence building site, along with his regular crew, and materials are special price deals too for advertising during the show.
--
If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to medbuyer
If you use cedar pickets they will turn grey (aren't tree grey?) but will last for over 20 years if they don't touch the dirt.

Do not use cedar posts. Only treated or steel. I've been using treated rails to save a few bucks, 20+ years on those too.

I've got 400+ linear foot of fence line.


Greg_Z
Premium
join:2001-08-08
Springfield, IL
reply to 61999674
The only advertising that is really done, is for DeWalt. And pretty much everything as most of the profits go to the Holmes Foundation. As for the plumbing crew, with a job that size, you pretty much grab up as many hands as you can to get it done.


61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1
reply to RadioDoc
I know wood fences like the one on the show that are twenty years old and you wouldn't think it is more than a couple, on the other end I know fences that are a couple years old and they look like they have been there twenty.

When I said about the job lasting longer than the person, I really meant the inside re-mods, do you want to re-do because you WANT to or because you HAVE to?
--
If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand.


RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2
Sorry, I thought we were talking about outside fences...
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.


jbob
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Premium
join:2004-04-26
Little Rock, AR
reply to medbuyer
One other thing to be aware of is that many installers don't even use nails, they use staples. This might be an area dependent thing. My neighbor just had a fence put up and they used staples but not for the railing, just the panels.


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to medbuyer
When I bulit my fence:
I used treated post sunk into the ground with I bag of cement per hole. Then I used pre-fabed fence panals [you can buy them at Home depot. Back when I did it a 4 foot tall, by 8 foot wide panal was 25 bucks], I fastened then to the post using 1/2 inch galvenized carriage bolts. That way I could remove panals if needed. The pre-fabbed panals were nailed together.
I had the fence up for about 6 years, before taking it down.
The fence was a divider in my back yard to keep the dogs in one part of the yard. The dogs had passed on, and our new dog turned out to be a jumper [He impaled himself on a bush]. So we took fence down and got invisible fence, since then no more impaled dog, and nice open lawn [Problem with a fence is the need to use a weed whacker to lower the grass, or use a grass killer to prevent grass/weeds from growing up around the fence bottom].

So, I vote carriage bolts to hold panals to the posts, and screws to build the panals.
--
Say no to the IRS.. Yes to the Fair Tax! This beer is for: 464th bat. 98th div. Combat engineers. Hillside Ave schenectady NY.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to medbuyer
Click for full size
Here what age does to different fastener products:
original nails
original staples
zinc coated screws
newest powder coated screws

Even the zinc coated screws bleed after a while. The rust eats into the wood (cedar anyway).

PCDEC

join:2004-10-12
Allentown, PA
Screws. Unless the fence only needs to last 5 years.


PeeWee
Premium
join:2001-10-21
Madera, CA

1 recommendation

galvanized nails installed with nail gun will last as long as the wood. Anything else is misguided good intentions, and not worth the money. Other might say different but it's definitely not worth $400 to see the screws still embedded in the scraps you toss when you replace the fence in the far future.
--
My grandkids REALLY ARE cuter than yours!


Apathy
Premium
join:2004-09-01
Saint Louis, MO
reply to medbuyer
Screws. Even though they by themselves won't be $400.00 more than nails, consider that you are also paying for a job that should be better done (all things being equal, ie, the craftsmanship of the installer) plus the wear and tear on the drill. Time may be a factor as well.


PeeWee
Premium
join:2001-10-21
Madera, CA

1 recommendation

said by Apathy:

Screws. Even though they by themselves won't be $400.00 more than nails, consider that you are also paying for a job that should be better done (all things being equal, ie, the craftsmanship of the installer) plus the wear and tear on the drill. Time may be a factor as well.
You get all that from the extra $400 price in the bid?
Okay how about I bid $1000 over the others, that must be evidence of even greater quality!
--
My grandkids REALLY ARE cuter than yours!


Icarus
CHAOS RULES
Premium,Mod
join:2000-11-08
Off Center
kudos:1
reply to medbuyer
How much fence are we talking about? 50ft or 250ft? Or more? Is the $400 a significant difference over the total price or is it just a small percent of the total? Nails do work themselves loose for any number or reasons...wind,weather,moisture. Screws will not normally work loose. Its only 400 bucks.....Id go with screws.
--
Team Helix- Folding@Home and Rosetta@Home

jerybak

join:2006-06-09
O Fallon, MO

1 recommendation

reply to medbuyer
I am a general contractor in MO, we have installed numerous fences for customers and family. On my own brothers fence we used nails, and a power fastener. The correct way to build it is called stick building it in MO. Dig and set all ACQ treated post one day, come back the next day giving the concrete time to set up and install the three rails with screws, so they may be taken off in the future if needed.

Then install the pickets, we used full ring shank nails, trust me, ring shank nails into treated lumber will not come lose, wind weather or not. The other thing I have found about contractors that use screws on pickets instead of nails is they tend to be stingy with the screws due to cost and time, with ring shank nails and power fastener you can drive six 2.5” nails into each picket very quickly.


Apathy
Premium
join:2004-09-01
Saint Louis, MO
reply to PeeWee
said by PeeWee:

Okay how about I bid $1000 over the others, that must be evidence of even greater quality!
Are you a carpenter, is your craftsmanship worth it? Then go for it.


Frankg0

join:2005-03-09
Loudoun, VA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to medbuyer
Just my experience:
My fence was installed in 1999 (~107 linear feet, board on board).
Ring shank nails were used. I stained it the following year.
So far no issues except for one board that warped sideways and pulled the nails. I screwed it back and it broke the head off the screw a few months later. I used 2 or 3 screws again and that held it for the last few years.

On some of my neighbors fences the posts have tilted, some very badly. The fences are basically falling over and looking very bad. So be aware of the post hole sizes and cement...
--
2nd Ammendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


davidg
Good Bye My Friend
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-15
none
reply to medbuyer
the posts and how the well stringers are attached, as well as how many of each their are, are more important than nails/screws on the planks. i have seen more wood fences fail due to improper post/striinger installation than due to nails popping. set the posts at least 18" in the ground in concrete and get them plumb. use 3 runs of stringers per section. space the fence boards minimum 1/4" to allow for expansion, and nail away.

screws will last forever, but the wood won't. no need for the fasteners to outlast the boards.

how many feet of fence is going up? if it is 50 ft, i would tell the guy at 400.00 over to go to hell. if it is 300 ft, then that is not a bad difference in price and is your judgement call.
--
Lack of Preparation on YOUR Part does NOT Constitute an Emergency on Mine!


Rojo_P

join:2001-10-03
Lancaster, OH
reply to medbuyer
I put up approximately 500' of fence around my home 15 years ago, using galvanized nails.
No problems so far.