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Old 04-03-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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To space between slats in privacy fence?

So I'm putting up a new privacy fence. Gonna go with installing individual slats as opposed to pre-bought panels. Have had "many" tips from good friends who have done the same and some who are actually semi-pro at it. Up until today, I was told to nail/screw each slat as flush as possible up against the adjacent slat as the wood would shrink over time and I WILL have spaces between them eventually. (Also advised to plumb bob the slats every few to keep them true vertical).

Well today while buying a few supplies at Big Box Store, the local pro told me to actually space my slats about the width of a #2 screwdriver apart because the cedar slats will expand when they get wet and if they are attached flush, this will cause them to warp.


(also, please advise me if I should post this on a "better" subforum; I couldn't really tell from cruisin' around here where to post this)


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Old 04-03-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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To space between slats in privacy fence?

Follow your friend's advice on this and install the boards tightly. They contain enough moisture so that when they dry, they will indeed have space between them, anywhere from 1/8" to 1/4", which will be enough to allow for expansion when they get wet again.
A decent 4' level will work ok for plumb; if you have, or can borrow a 6'er, so much the better.


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Old 04-03-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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To space between slats in privacy fence?

A lot depends on the moisture content when the boards are installed. I did a similar job a few years ago and the boards expanded and actually broke the heads off some of the screws. I would at least use a 16d nail to space the boards, after all it's outside and will be wet many times. Why take the chance for a little more privacy?
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:40 PM   #4
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To space between slats in privacy fence?

Spaces. At least the width of a framing spike.
The spaces also allow the fence to pass wind through it better than when the boards are tight together.
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Go ahead and apply for a variance, those guys at City Hall can use a good laugh.
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