B & M Home Builders

Building Custom Homes

Nails!

Who cares? Who cares about nails?

Anyone hiring a builder or buying a house should care.  The truth behind the construction nail begins a long time ago in the 70’s.   Nails are an issue that is literally hammered out of sight.

In 1963 when a builder hired a framing contractor to erect the frame of a new house it was understood that the builder supplied the materials.  This meant the wood, flashing and of course the nails.    When the influx of hispanic workers started they got work with builders by saying they would supply the nails.  So you have a builder seeing a way to save on his construction cost and many jumped at the chance. Now motivated with a new contract to build at the lowest cost the absolute cheapest nails were used.  The nail issue was overlooked because sales and brick covered up the weakness.

These hispanic crews changed the industry.  After awhile in order to get work framing contractors had to start supplying the nails. This is now a standard practice.  A box of nails at the store is 7.99 however enough nails for a house is significantly more.

CODE COMPLIANCE

Different nails must be used in coastal areas but many do not.   Code compliance officers don’t often check for the correct nails.   Nails come in smooth shank, ridge,  ribbed, twist and several other forms for specific uses.  The chemical used in treated wood will eat the nails from inside the wood leaving nothing to support the base board.  In coastal areas where treated wood is required a plain nail will not have the manufacturing treatment required to withstand the test of time in treated wood.     Later when you get a good wind there are no nails of substance in the base boards and the wall moves leading to collapse of the wall.  Needless to say the correct nails cost more.  Custom builders and especially construction framers realize how important what you can’t see is vitally important.

After a nail is hammered you sometimes cannot even see the head of the nail because the modern nail gun sinks nails deep into softwood.  Wood is discussion for another day.  The building inspector cannot easily check if non-conforming nails were used and the issue won’t show up for 10 years.

Nails and fasteners have improved and the correct nails in the right hands will make a huge difference in the longevity of your home.

This is just one of many reasons clients keep coming back and we thought this bit of construction history and the history of nails was interesting, something good to know!

When in doubt, build it stout! Contact us at your leisure.