Most homeowners when gathering estimates never really consider this detail when it comes to building a wood fence. Ultimately your decision will be determined by the cost versus value aspect. Let’s break down the benefits of each, beginning with nails.
This is the less costly option and basically the only pro in the debate. It saves both labor and materials costs. Almost all reputable and experienced fence installers use a nail gun which is at least twice as fast as using screws.
One drawback with using nails is that you only have one chance to get it right. That is, if you need to move a board, you will most likely have to replace with a new one because nails are very unforgiving when removing pickets. Boards split and crack and thus creates waste.
With screws, you essentially have a modular fence. If a board is fastened in the wrong spot, it can be easily removed and reset without damaging the board. During any installation, there are adjustments that need to be made. Screws are also helpful down the road if pickets need to be replaced; it poses less stress on rails for removal and replacement.
Lastly, esthetically speaking, screws give you a more polished, carpentry finish. It projects a more quality appearance. Furthermore, you can also choose different color screws to add accents.
In summation, there are three instances where nails make sense: 1) Very long runs of fencing that are over three hundred lineal feet; 2) Fences that are not in prominent, visual locations where esthetics are important; and 3) If the budget absolutely does not allow.
On the other hand, the financial stretch to build the fence with screws is a much better option and well worth the money. So next time when you are comparing estimates, do not discount the impact of this often, overlooked detail.
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