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Old 12-18-2009, 02:20 PM   #1
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cedar, redwood or PT for fencing


How do the various types hold up?
I am thinking to use PT for the stringers since the cedar is 3x more expensive. The old fence boards are 25years old or more and some are still sound. How does PT hold up?

The local big box store has both cedar and redwood 1x6x6ft at about the same price. I don't expect it to be the best quality, but its just a backyard. There don't seem to be any real lumber yards anymore.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:52 PM   #2
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what are the OLD fence boards? i think i'd be inclined to use that again if they're 25 yrs old.
PT lumber looks ugly to me as fencing and decks.

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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I don't really know what those old boards are. They are grey like all weathered wood. I'd only use PT for the stringers. If the PT (green color) is going to bleed onto the other wood, it might be a concern. My neighbor can always pay to cover it since it will be on his side.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:57 PM   #4
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I usually find wood fencing materials at the big box stores lacking in quality. Find a real fence supply - pay a little bit more and get a lot more quality. I would use cedar for stringers and boards with good metal posts well anchored in concrete. Metal post costs in materials and effort are about the same as wood posts, but you can put two or three board life times on the same metal posts.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:34 AM   #5
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The weathered gray boards are most likely Cedar. And this is what you should use for the new ones.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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As far as using metal posts go, I assume you mean use the standard chainlink posts and attach wood framing to those. It seems like an easier way to go, but I didn't consider it since I saw no way to reliably attach the boards. Now I see there are pipe brackets just for that (Simpson). If placed on 8' centers, very little cutting would be required. I had already started replacing some of the wooden posts so maybe I will switch over to metal.

As far as hole depth goes, I see that rough guidelines say 1/3 buried. That seems pretty deep. Here in So Cal, we don't have hurricanes, tornadoes, or frost lines to worry about. We do have hard as nails sandstone, and 2' is all that we did previously. With a powered auger going deeper may be OK, but the standard post length being sold here is 8', so how do think all those 6' fences are being done? I could see buying a longer post for every corner or every 4th or 5th one maybe.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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For the wood posts I already have in place, I was going to use those gavanized brackets and screws to hold the stringers on.

Screws or nails for holding boards onto the stringers? Always used nails in the past, but I see screws are being used for a lot more things now.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:26 PM   #8
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Correct, use the brackets designed to mount the wood stringers to the metal posts. They make squared posts as well, with a facility to mount the stringers - these are good if you are making a good neighbor fence (pretty both sides - no back or front side to the fence) as the posts can be covered by a fence board.

I bury a couple feet into the ground and have found it to be good if the frost line is not a consideration as in SoCal. Renting a two man power auger is a great back-saver. I like to use the quick setting sacked concrete that one pours the powder and add water to mix right in the hole.

I like to use screws rather than nails - but a power nailer does go a lot faster and holds well. Galvanized or stainless fasteners of course.

Last edited by vsheetz; 12-20-2009 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
I bury a couple feet into the ground and have found it to be good if the frost line is not a consideration as in SoCal. Renting a two man power auger is a great back-saver. I like to use the quick setting sacked concrete that one pours the powder and add water to mix right in the hole.

I like to use screws rather than nails - but a power nailer does go a lot faster and holds well. Galvanized or stainless fasteners of course.
Worked in the landscape industry in a distant past life and we always set posts for anything using this dry method. You seldom have to brace the posts as you sometimes do with a wet mix.

Screws are great but for fence boards they might be overkill? I would use a nail gun and put the nails in at a slight downward angle. If it as an issue getting a compressor and electric compressor to your site, see if you can get your hands on a gas cartridge powered one.

As for what to use? I guess I have always liked redwood and cedar. If PT is stained, it can look nice. You just have to wait 6-12 months.

I also agree that is worth searching out a lumber yard or building supply company.
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