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Use Screws Instead of Nails

When building a deck or fence, use the appropriate size screws instead of nails. In doing so, you can easily remove and replace the boards without damaging either the posts or the post rails and it's a much easier job to do that way, too!

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For example, one time we needed to remove a section of the fence for a hot tub delivery. Another time, we needed to remove just enough boards to slide a very large backyard glass top table through that we couldn't maneuver through the gate. And yet one other time, we needed to remove a few boards from the deck floor for access to do a hot tub wiring repair.

I don't remember the cost difference between a box of nails and a box screws but it wasn't much and ended up being worth it in the long run.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

This is a really smart idea. A lso, if you're in an area prone to heavy weather, be it tornadoes or hurricanes, using screws rather than nails is often a building code requirement.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you so much, PupperMom, for mentioning building code requirements in some areas because it just reminded me that, in my haste to share this tip, I forgot to write that using screws also makes the fencing and decks much more sturdy than nails (even galvanized nails) ever will simply because of their design :-)

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

When we did our back fence last summer, my husband insisted on screws instead of nails. It is far sturdier than the fence on the other side of the yard (which we will be replacing very soon).

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I had never thought about the ease of removal but that is a good point too.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I was a career, now retired, carpenter and construction supervisor.. I know that to simply advise using screws sounds all well and good. But for professionals, there is much more to the subject than that. For instance using hidden clips and screws on a deck that are never seen.

I've read articles about balconies that have failed, dropping people to their deaths - because the owner thought he knew what he was doing. So, I would much rather the amateurs stop giving that type of advice.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

With all due respect, Tomatohanger, I think you should reread my tip because I am talking about fence 'boards' and deck 'floor boards' and not the construction for proper deck 'support' nor about setting fence posts! And using screws for 'floor boards' is not going to cause a balcony to collapse any more than nails would as long as the 'supports' are done to code!

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Actually, the screws make the boards hold more firmly than by using nails! BTW, amateurs can read construction instructions and read and follow city codes too ;-)

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

Now, why didn't I think to post this? lol!
Deeli, my hubby is a retired general contractor and swears by your tip. When you factor in the nails wasted by removal and breakage, I think the cost difference is negligible. Thanks! You're one smart cookie.

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