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IN DEPTH EXTRA: Deck Fasteners

Code officials also are paying attention. Changes to the 2015 IRC make it easier to meet the needs for securing the deck, a key concern. Previously, the code required two connections each capable of supporting 1,500-pound loads, which required using connectors that penetrated the house frame. The new approach requires four 750-pound connections, which can be fastened from the outside.

“That’s a major change, but now there’s confusion over what’s needed and what the code requires,” says Archer. GRK’s Martel agrees. “We’re still wrapping our heads around the inspection changes that were introduced with the 2015 code.”

The key concern is the delay before municipalities adopt the new code, leaving installers unsure if they can use the easier version. “There’s an amazing lag between what the code specifies and when it gets adopted,” Archer explains. “Most people are behind the current thinking.”

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“We’re trying to get word out on this change,” he says. “People want to hear it because it solves a big problem they’ve had to face at one of the key failure points for decks. We expect this change will have communities adopting the 2015 code technique much faster than typically happens. But many people don’t know it’s out there yet because many states haven’t adopted it, and it’s creating confusion.”

SDWS-structural-wood-screw-from-simpsonThe SDWS structural wood screw from Simpson Strong-Tie is said to provide an easy-to-install, high-strength alternative to through-bolting and traditional lag screws for securing decks. The thread design was created to provide superior holding power, with a patented 4CUT tip that offers fast starts, reduces installation torque and eliminates the need for pre-drilling.

Hidden Fasteners Growing
Confusion also has occurred with some hidden deck fasteners, which has raised concerns about racking and secure fastening to the joists. Those issues are important, as hidden fasteners continue to grow in popularity for all types of deck boards.

“Most uses we see today are for deck clips,” says Bevan Wulfenstein, marketing director for Grabber Construction Products. “That’s where the opportunity for growth is. Top fastening will always be there, but it’s dropping off. Most manufacturers are grooving their boards because so many customers want to use clips today.”

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“Hidden deck fasteners continue to grow in popularity, but they’re all over the board in terms of materials they are being used on,” says Roderick Kabel, marketing director for DeckWise, The Ipe Clip Fastener Company LLC. “Customers like the long-lasting, sleek, smooth surface they provide. Homeowners are spending more money on decks and don’t want to have the boards face-screwed down. Hidden fasteners eliminate the need for face screwing and take fastener pop-ups out of the equation.”

Deckmaster-G6-Hidden-Deck-Fastening-SystemThe new Deckmaster G6 Hidden Deck Fastening System from Grabber Construction Products is said to have been independently evaluated as the strongest deck clip system available. It features four wings for more gripping power, permanently locking the deck boards into place without screws on the deck’s surface. The under-mount design uses fasteners at two angles.

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