When it comes to building a wood fence, one of the most important decisions you'll make is whether to use screws or nails. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, and the choice you make will depend on the specific requirements of your project.
Screws are generally considered to be the stronger and more durable option. They have a greater holding power than nails and are less likely to come loose over time. This is even more prevalent in the harsh Minnesota climate we build in. Screws also have a larger surface area than nails, which means they distribute the load more evenly and are less likely to cause splitting in the wood. Additionally, screws can be removed and reused, making them a more versatile option for future fence repairs or adjustments. This also comes in handy when damage occurs to your fence, such as a tree branch falls on a panel or a car runs into a fence. Damaged boards can easily be replaced in comparison to nails.
On the other hand, nails are often the more cost-effective option. They are cheaper than screws and can be driven in faster, which can save time and labor costs on larger projects. Nails are also easier for one to learn to use. Nail guns are simple to operate in comparison to screw guns.
When considering the option that is best for your fence project, it is important to consider the specific needs of your project. If cost is a major concern and the fence will not be exposed to harsh elements, nails may be the better choice. However, if durability and longevity are important, screws are the more reliable choice. Ridgeline Fence and Deck only uses screws for this reason and believe the added costs are worth the investment in the long term because boards will not become loose and pop off the way they will with nails.
In conclusion, both screws and nails can be used to build a fence, but the best and most durable choice depends on the specific requirements of your project. Screws are stronger and more durable, but nails are cheaper and can be driven in faster. Consider the climate, location, and use of the fence before making a final decision.