IN DEPTH: FASTENERS

More Specialty Options

A variety of specialty fasteners also are gaining popularity due to their efficiency with specific projects. “Specialty products are growing,” Simpson Strong-Tie’s Allen says. The company is supporting a new system that allows subfloors to be screwed down without gluing them first. More than 800 homes have been completed using the system. “Glue can be difficult to work with, and certainly is not the ‘green’ approach. If builders can screw down the floor without gluing it first, they’re better off.”

GRK has seen strong sales with its new shim screws, which install to the door jamb with an outside sleeve, allowing the door to be adjusted without shims. “The reduced labor it allows makes it popular. It also can be readjusted later if the building settles, which adds value for the homeowner,” Romanski says. A shim screw for vinyl windows also has been launched.

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USP has seen more use of mechanical anchors and epoxied rods in residential construction, Ruch says. They’re replacing anchor bolts in wet concrete, which speeds up construction. “A cast-inplace threaded anchor and hold-down straps can be difficult to align,” he explains. “This approach allows builders to cast the concrete and then install the threaded rod after the fact.”

It also plays to a larger trend that USP has seen, he adds. “We’ve moved away as much as possible from nails and bolts. Aligning components to secure them with bolts can be cumbersome and slows down the job. If we can provide the right type of screws, they install much faster.”

Screw Products’ Miller also had adapted to changes. “We’re seeing more use of lag screws for structural applications on trusses and posts and beams. Log homes and big-timber homes also are using them more.” Several TV shows are using Screw Products’ fasteners for specialty projects, including tree houses and cabins, giving them wider visibility.

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