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Barn Blog

November 2, 2015

Choosing the Right Nails to Build Your Pole Barn

Choosing the right nails for your pole barn can reduce maintenance requirements and improve the appearance of the building. Barns and storage buildings use four types of nails that come in a variety of lengths:

  • Common nails are general purpose thick, heavy-duty nails. They are typically used in floor framing.
  • Box nails are a lighter weight and thinner than common nails. They are used for wall and roof framing and can reduce splitting.
  • Roofing nails have larger heads and are usually ¾ to 2 inches long and galvanized to reduce corrosion.
  • Pole barn nails in 30d to 60d sizes have a smaller diameter than common nails of the same size. They are ringed nails with serrated ridges around the diameter to help them hold better. Pole barn nails are used to fasten wall framing lumber to pole barn poles.

Nails used in construction are sized by length with the term "penny," which is abbreviated "d." As a general rule of thumb, you should use nails with a length at least three times the thickness of the materials that is being attached.

Use 16d common nails to frame the floor in your pole barn. This will give the floor great strength.

To secure plywood flooring, use 6d or 8d nails. Use 6d or 8d ring nails to prevent the nails from working loose as the floor flexes from use.

Frame the walls and roof with 12d or 16d box nails 3 or 3 ½ inches long.

For siding and trim, use galvanized nails to reduce corrosion and "bleeding" that could be visible through paint. 5d and 6d are the most commonly used sizes.

Secure roofing shingles with 1 ½ or 1 ¾ inch nails.

Use a quality hammer, such as a 20- or 24-ounce rip claw hammer, to reduce wear and tear on your body. A common 16-ounce curved claw hammer is not recommended.

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