Re: Fasteners for a deck?

On Wed, 27 Apr 2011 14:00:56 -0400, "Peter Bogiatzidis"
<pbogi@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


I started rehabbing an old deck last season until life got in the way and
stalled the project. Now that the weather is finally starting to break in
the North East, the project is back on the front burner.

This is a partial repair and redesign. The plan is to not only replace the
old decking, but also lower it by several inches to allow for a snow gap for
a 6 ft. slider that opens up onto it, plus turn the original 16' X 20'
footprint by 90 degrees, so that the 20' side is parallel to the house.

I plan on using the peel and stick deck protector wrap on the ledger, joist
ends, and their top edges. As I understand it, that will allow me to use
conventional hot dipped galvanized joist hangers and carriage bolts.

OK so far.

However, when it comes to fasteners such as screws and pneumatic nails I'm a
bit confused. Search results seem to indicate that I should use stainless
steel screws with the newer ACQ or MCQ type PT lumber and that I shouldn't
mix hardware and fastener types. For example, if I use stainless steel
joist hangers, which would cost more than I can afford, that I'd have to use
stainless steel nails or screws. If I stick with my plan of using the deck
wrap and HDG hardware, what type of screws and pneumatic nails can I use?

I strongly recommend against using nails for a deck. Screws are a bit
more expensive and take longer to install, but they're better

I've used the HDG big box store deck screws on other projects in the past
only to find that they rusted out. Since then, I've used the recommended
green (as in color) deck screws on a small deck (step platform in front of
an entry door) at the same house where the current deck in question is
located and have seen those fail as well. That's why I'm concerned about
choosing the correct fasteners this time around.

I haven't heard anything about problems with stainless hardware in
galv Simpson connectors. Almost all SS deck screws are 300 series
which does not corrode with galv.

On a related note, any suggestions as to hidden deck fasteners? Any
preferred brands? Grooved decking or conventional? From what I've read so
far, it seems to me that I should stay clear of the ones that get driven it
at an angle just in case a deck board needs to be replaced in the future as
unlikely as that might be. BTW, there's about 2 ft. of clearance below the

I don't like hidden fasteners because it's hard to replace a middle
board without ripping it and they're considerably more expensive than
screws or nails.

So, if anyone has any input as to what type of screws, pneumatic nails (for
use in a Northern Tool framing nailer), or any other suggestions, I'd
greatly appreciate your input.

I bought a Makita 18v lithium impactor kit for this very purpose. I
replaced a Bosch 14.4v nicad Impactor that was 3 years old and going

Type 17 self-tapping screws with torx heads are the best combination.
Series 316 (most expensive), 305, or 304 (cheapest) in a trim head.
They look like countersunk finish nails after installation.

Most of the work I've done is for seniors who say "I won't outlive the
normal fasteners, so don't even -think- of using expensive stainless
steel screws." so I use the GripRite Primeguard (epoxy coated) screws.
They're not type-17. <sigh> I drill pilot holes for anything within 3
inches of the end of a board. is now carrying deck screws. Give them a holler.
You can even get painted heads to match the wood. $$$$ Informative site with better

Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come
alive... then go do it. Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive. -- Howard Thurman