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IN DEPTH EXTRA: Deck Fasteners

Safety concerns, aesthetic needs and the desire for fast, easy installations are key factors when customers choose fasteners for their deck projects.

With more deck products being undertaken as the economy improves and more awareness of the need for proper installation, builders and contractors are examining their fastening options closer in the hopes of finding a system that will meet their needs while providing fast, easy installation. Manufacturers continue to introduce new options and improve existing ones to meet those changing needs.

“There are a lot of factors playing a role in fastener selections,” says Scott Park, product manager for deck fastener products at Simpson Strong-Tie. “Fastener sales have been stronger than housing starts, which is what we usually look at to make sales projections for fasteners. That shows that there’s been a strong recovery in renovation projects.”

Safety Awareness Grows
One key factor has gained attention with homeowners, builders and inspectors. “Safety is becoming more of an issue,” says Greg Martel, product manager at GRK Fasteners. “There have been some well-publicized instances of deck collapses that have made inspectors’ jobs more difficult. Now they have to go beneath the deck and check the ledger boards, hangers, fasteners and the entire system.”

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Screw Products promotes its deck bracket to help secure structures, and it has become popular, says Jim Miller, company president. “Deck safety has become a big deal, and home inspectors are paying more attention because there have been some failures.” The company promotes the bracket in line with Deck Safety Month in May, sponsored by the North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA).

Attention to safety was due, says Steve Archer, Northeast regional sales manager for MiTek Builder Products. “Historically, some of the connection techniques are really horrific, and no one was enforcing what was correct.” That is one reason GRK focused its attention on getting all of its fasteners code-approved, notes Martel. “It makes it easier for the inspector to approve the project overall, which creates a more efficient project.”

USP-Adjustable-Deck-Tension-TieThe USP Adjustable Deck Tension Tie from MiTek Builder Products meets the 2015 IRC prescriptive construction details requiring builders to install connections to transfer lateral loads from the deck to the house. It offers an adjustable design and a two-hole breakout washer that works with multiple screw sizes.

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