small boards should be set with screws, and if near the ends it may be best to drill small pilot holes to reduce the chance of splitting. vertical railing posts should be bolted to the rim joists...not lag screws...bolts can be tightened later with out stripping the wood.
Thanks for explaining to me when to use what. I would have just gone w/ nails all the way around if I had not heard that comment.
Watch and make sure you put the wood down with the correct side up. Wood has a "crown" and the crown should curve up like an upturned bowl not down like a bowl ready to use.
Jeanette, I saw how quickly that curve can come into play working on my fence...one night in the truck bed and the boards were "bowed" the next morning and we didn't even have rain! I was very Conscientious about placing the crown "out" so when it was screwed down it would stay without any further bowing...But I was really dumb struck when I moved the first boards and found moisture on the truck bed under them...no rain, no humidity and certainly no dew...we're in drought conditions...
Sharron W Were these pressure treated board?...I have seen bubbles of moisture get squeezed out of PT when screws are driven into it...this is one reason you need to wait months before you can paint it.
@KMS, They are pressure treated....standard fence boards sold for this area...they start out yellow and age to a grey over the course of time....I have saved the old boards because they weren't up there very long and I can make something else with them I hope...It's a long story but suffice it to say as handy as my hubby is, I was not entralled with his fence building skills.... The gate, (which is quite sturdy in frame), was put together with carriage bolts and if I had built it, I would have countersunk the heads...BUT he didn't, and as a result the boards he nailed over that area kept bowing and breaking prematurely. Second, the ground is not level there and each board has to be cut Individually to length....and as a result our gate looked like Ma and Pa Kettle built it from an old chicken coop leftover parts...LOL I tried to show him that I turn the board upside down put one nail in to hold it...level across the top of the fence and mark the line where I'm going to cut it off.... Suffice it to say that apparently the gate doesn't mean that much to anyone else and so I'm rebuilding it....
Nails will pop out over time while a wood screw will hold tight. Use galvanized so you don't get staining from a rusty screw.