Cedar warp/splits due to improper installation?

Old 08-20-05, 12:33 AM
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Exclamation Cedar warp/splits due to improper installation?

My 3-week old 6' Western Red Cedar fence (1x6x6), that is allegedly #1 Select Estate, is warping, twisting, cupping, and splitting up to 24". The fence installer insists that I got quality wood and this is all normal. He is going to replace the boards with splits 6" or more and says the warped boards will straighten out after a good rain. I'm concerned b/c it's been raining a few days each week and it's always humid in New Orleans. Is what he says true?

I've looked at a lot of websites, trying to educate myself, and I'm wondering it errors in installation could be the real culprit. My fence is on metal poles and has only two rails, which allow the thin boards to easily flex back and forth when you push on them. The installer says the boards will get stronger as they dry and won't flex. Some websites say you have to do 3 rails on a 6' fence to stabilize the wood against warping and twisting. Some also say that lack of predrilling and overdriving the nails can cause splitting. Most of the nails have a countersink of about 1/4", some even more. Is that overdriving?

A quick response would be most appreciated, as they are supposed to come by one day next week to inspect and discuss the fence, and I'm trying to educate myself before then. My fear is that I saved for two years to pay for a shoddy fence that's going to end up a twisted mass of splintered wood that flaps in the breeze. Please help! Thank you.
Old 08-20-05, 01:03 AM
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Forgot to mention...

The fence co. convinced me that I had to have a 1x12 pine mudboard at the bottom of the fence b/c my yard slopes. (I later learned that I didn't need one.) Anyway, along the bottom of many of the cedar boards there is 6 to 8" of mudboard. I assume that will cause the bottom of the cedar to dry at a slower rate than the rest of it. Would that contribute to warping and splitting?

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