Getting a new fence? Don’t Get “Screwed!” Why You Should Insist On Nails Instead

Why You Should Not Ask Your Contractor to Use Screws Instead of Nails


The hardware used on your fence may seem like a small detail, but it is what holds everything together. Many years of research and experience has gone into the design of our Lifetime fences, and we have come to the same conclusion as the other top fence companies in DFW. Screws should never be used when installing a wood fence. While research shown that nails are better for the installation of a wood fence, using the right type of nail is paramount. The list of nails available at your local hardware store is endless, and each nail is designed for a specific purpose. Using the wrong type of nail for building a wood fence is like using your iron to heat up pizza!

Use Nails Instead of Screws

When choosing the type of nail to be used, the unique properties of cedar wood should be considered. When cedar gets wet, it swells. As cedar dries, it shrinks again. With this constant movement, the proper choice of nail is crucial.

Lifetime Fence & Roofing Company uses stainless steel ring shank nails for all wood fences. These nails have circular rings on them, which help them grip the fibers of the wood, and staying locked into place, even with the expanding and contracting of the wood.


Some of the worst choices for nails include:


Galvanized Nails using galvanized nails with cedar

Cedar contains natural acids which are very corrosive to metal. When galvanized nails are used with cedar, after a few months your fence will start to look like this:


Screw Shank Nails

This type of nail isn’t the worst type of nail to Nails instead of screwsuse, but it’s only slightly better than the worst. Which is why we find it surprising that many fencing companies use screw shank nails on their fences. As cedar shrinks and swells, these nails tend to unscrew themselves after awhile.


Smooth Nailsh5f940753

These nails should never be used for a fence. They are smooth, and therefore do not grip the wood at all. Although they are a cheap option, it will take no time for the pickets to slip off these nails.



  1. I would never have thought that the types of fastenings could make such a difference. I’ll make sure that when I find a company to put in our fence, I’ll ask them what they use to put it together.

  2. I never would have thought that different kinds of nails would make such a big difference on fences. I just set some plans to repair my own fence and wasn’t sure where to start. Now I know that getting the right kind of nails is going to be the first thing I want to do. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is a well-written and very informative article, couldn’t have laid it out any better. Many people either don’t understand or underestimate the importance of quality nails in their fencing.
    Keep up the great work, I’m glad I came across this site.

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