Fence Repair

I have a 17-year old fence that is look a little worse for wear. I'm hoping some simple repairs/maintenance will give it a few more years of life since most of the lumber is in very sound condition. In particular, all of the posts appear to be rock solid. Some pics here:
http://www.malch.com/DSC_5189.jpg
http://www.malch.com/DSC_5190.jpg
http://www.malch.com/DSC_5191.jpg
http://www.malch.com/DSC_5192.jpg
This fence in a shared responsibility and hence I won't be doing anything until I've spoken to the guy who lives on the other side. Fortunately, the relationship is cordial.
Quite a few of the vertical slats need re-positioning and re-fastening. I'm concerned that a lot of nail hammering will only shake more slats loose. Therefore, I'm thinking about using screws. This will given me a chance to test a recently acquired and seriously heavy-duty Bosch drill/driver!
Is this wise? What type of screws should I use and where should I insert them? Should I screw the overlapping slats to each other? Or screw them to the horizontal retaining strip along the bottom of the fence? Some completely different approach?
I've not really tackled anything quite like this so any advice or comments, general or specific, would be most welcome.
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On Nov 30, 12:47 pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

http://www.malch.com/DSC_5189.jpghttp://www.malch.com/DSC_5190.jpghttp://www.malch.com/DSC_5191.jpghttp://www.malch.com/DSC_5192.jpg
Random thoughts....
How are the slats that are in their original postions attached - to each other or to the retaining strip? (I'm guessing the retaining strip.) Re-attach the others the same way.
Galvanized deck screws would work, but if you try to screw too close to the ends, you'll probably split the uprights unless you pre-drill/ counter sink. Consider renting a nailgun to save time and eliminate the pounding you're concerned with.
Chicken or egg question: Did the vines grow through the openings once the slats became displaced or did the slats become displaced because the vines pushed them out of the way? In either case, you're going have to deal with the vines or you may find yourself in the same situation a few years from now.
Are the displaced slats warped to such an extent that it's going to be tough to put them where they belong? You be surprised what a few well placed wood clamps can do to pull a warped board into alignment and hold it in place while you add the fasteners.
How is it that the fence is a "shared responsibility" Typically, one or the other of the homeowners owns the fence and the land beneath it, assuming it was placed where it should have been based on local codes.
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Not so random. Good stuff, thank you!

You guessed right and it makes sense.

Hmmmm, I had not considered the nailgun option. I should have and will!

I think the vines displaced the slats. You're right -- they will likely cause more problems in the future.

No serious warping. There's just a ton of good lumber in this fence. However, it wasn't well fastened together. It's a shame. But that's builders :-(

My understanding and recollection is that both parties have to pay equal shares of any repair or maintenance costs. Yes, I think that's a little unusual too. I will be checking the original title documents in due course because it seems that, these days, my memory is sometimes a little ummm, porus ;-)
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On Nov 30, 1:42 pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

re: My understanding and recollection is that both parties have to pay equal shares of any repair or maintenance costs.
In any case, if the look of the fence bothers *you* then volunteer to fix it even if someone else owns the whole thing.
A long time ago I "extended" a neighbor's wooden fence from where his lot overlapped mine so the back of my lot had the same fence, some his, some mine. His older fence now looked even older, so I knocked on his door and let him know that I would like to fix it up a bit. He was so open to the idea that later that afternoon his wife handed me a six- pack for the work I had done to their fence!
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Absolutely, that's my plan. These neighbors spend very little time at home so we don't see them often and don't know them well. But things are very cordial and I intend to let them know I'd like to take a shot at some maintenance. It will be a lot easier if they'll allow me to work both sides of the fence and have every expectation they'll be agreeable to that and most likely offer to help with any costs.
Either way, I won't touch the fence without their permission. And if they have some requirements/preferences/suggestions I'll be more than happy to respect those too. I think we'll work something out amicably but, as with any job like this, I need a decent plan before doing anything. Actually, I think I'll go stare at the fence for another half hour to help those thought processes along ;-)
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| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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