Fasteners Commonly Used for Deck Construction

Decks can be made from many different kinds of lumber, including pressure treated, cedar and hardwood species such as mahogany or Ipe. There are also composite decking products made from a combination of plastic and wood byproducts that lend the appearance of wood without the maintenance. And vinyl deck boards are low maintenance, extremely durable and attractive on your front porch or back deck.

Deck construction is about more than just the decking materials. The entire structure is held together by engineered and well designed deck fasteners, connecting each of the pieces to make up one whole. It's important that quality fasteners are used - that they are able to resist corrosion, withstand pressures and heavy loads and hold the decking material in place for years and years.

Deck Fasteners Underneath

Fasteners keep the framing together well. They can be used in conjunction with the posts (wood lags or carriage bolts are often installed to hold the beams on the posts). Fasteners are also used to anchor a ledger board into the house, which in turns acts as a support (lag bolts in a predrilled hole). You will use joist hangers against the ring joists to hold these important elements in securely and may use tapcons or concrete bolts to attach post brackets when piers are used.

Because these fasteners are used close to the ground and out of the sun it is very important that they employ the latest corrosion resistance technology. Hot dipped galvanized is a popular choice for contractors, although you may see zinc played hardware in this spot as well.

If you can afford it, stainless steel hardware is the best choice, providing the ultimate in protection and longevity. You will pay more for the fastener but can then enjoy your deck worry free. When a composite product is used the combination of fewer hassles and maximum enjoyment is elevated with stainless steel.

Deck Fasteners Used Above

Although there are many fasteners found below the deck boards, the ones used on the top of your deck are more prominent and important. Deck screws or decking nails are used to fasten the floorboards down and unless a hidden fastener system is used, those screws will be out in the open. Color-coded screw heads help to lessen any intrusion and being sure the screws are sunk well and installed using the proper skills is helpful.

Your railing will also be installed using deck fasteners. Often screws very similar to the deck screws are used. They may be shorter (deck board screws tend to be 2 1/2” and railing screws can be anything that holds in the railing post brackets. When railings are attached to the house a tapcon screw is used on brick. On vinyl siding you are best to locate the studs and use a wood lag, although it may help to ask the railing manufacturer what they recommend for each particular exterior finish.

Various fasteners found both underneath the deck and above hold deck construction together. From the joist hangers to deck screws and tapcons, these important elements of your deck design will make a difference. Be sure to choose a brand that has notable corrosion resistance and watch the budget to find out whether opting for stainless steel is worth the investment

Posted by: diana
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