Safer Deck Construction

By
Updated: October 30, 2019

As we continue to spend more time in the outdoors and more houses have the ‘extra outdoor room’ we need to ensure these areas are as safe as the houses we live in and have Correct approvals and construction methods are the start, together with the correct fasteners and connectors, to have a deck that is safe and lasts the life of the house.

We continue to look for products that will withstand the weather as treated timbers have now become the most efficient way to increase the life of a deck. The treatment used in this timber does a great job of resisting rot and termites, but has a real negative affect on the fasteners that are used to join them. Nails, screws and the connectors all need to be heavily galvanised or stainless steel to resist the corrosive affect that the chemical has. The introduction of ZMAX® to Simpson Strong-Tie connectors means that we have double the amount of zinc coating than any other connector that is manufactured and gives us close to that hot dipped galvanised performance.

The way the deck is attached to the original structure is vital because this is where the majority of deck collapses occur. We would typically attach the Ledger to the wall of the building, however at Simpson Strong-Tie they have developed Tension Ties, which allow us to attach the deck joists to the house joists with a short length of threaded rod. The new Simpson Strong-Tie LUS hangers have the double shear nailing pattern. This patented process uses skewed nails to achieve a higher load with less nails, saving on installation time as well as meeting the load capacities required.

With our 90 x 90 posts installed, it is now time for the Bearers, typically a double 240 x 45 to be attached the them. This can be done by bolting them to the post, cross checking them into the post, both of which can cause premature rotting of the timber. BC Post Cap from Simpson Strong-Tie sits on the post and positions the bearer perfectly in place. The 140 x 45 Joists then need to be connected to the Bearer with the newly released H1.81 Hurricane Tie. A perfect connector giving you both lateral as well as uplift loads with a simple installation.

The Quik Drive collated fastening system is the most efficient way to screw down decking boards with the added decking clip, the screws will be positioned correctly and the depth set on the tool ensures a uniform setting. Using stainless steel decking screws in exposed areas is always preferred as the screw will move as the timber swells and shrinks as well as the fact that they have good resistance against corrosion. The decking screws are collated in strips of 30, and have cutting tips on them so that there is no need for predrilling without splitting the boards. All this means that you’ll have the job done in half the time together with a great finish.