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It’s about time to get started on that deck you’ve always wanted! It can be quite a big job... But, it’s not too difficult to manage once you get into it. And, provided you have all the right tools, of course! Marsh Fasteners offers a brief guide to building the average deck build, complete with advice on the types and number of stainless steel decking screws you will need.
Do a Lot of Planning
Before you get busy gathering your materials and drilling and hammering away, first think carefully about what you’re going to use this deck for. And, how often you will make use of it. Do you have in mind events such as entertaining friends on a weekly basis? Or, watching sunsets every evening? Perhaps only the occasional barbecue? Maybe it will even be your family’s main eating place on summer days and evenings? All of these considerations, together with the size of your yard, will help you determine how big the deck needs to be, which of course will tell you everything about the quantities of materials you need. They will also help you work out what kind of deck you need and what materials would be best.
You’ll also have to do a survey of your yard. Is it flat or does it slope? If there is a gradient, you will need grading or installing posts.
Gather Your Materials
Having decided on the size of the deck, you can start purchasing your materials. You may decide to use natural wood (cedar, pressure-treated wood, IPE or redwood) or perhaps a composite. This is entirely up to your needs and budget. Natural woods require more maintenance. Speak to the staff at your hardware store or lumberyard to work out what suits you best and how much of it you’ll need.
Also make sure you have all the tools you’ll require, such as:
- A circular saw,
- A jigsaw,
- miter saw,
- An impact driver,
- A drill,
- A router,
- A tape measure,
- A framing square,
- A level,
- A sander,
- Pry bars, and so on.
Get the Right Fasteners – And the Right Amount
When it comes to fasteners, there is a simple rule-of-thumb method to work out how many you need. The guideline says that you need 350 screws for every 100 square feet of decking. This is based on standard 6” wide boards and 16” joist spacing. As for what type of fastener to use, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel decking screws. Just to be safe, always be sure to buy more than the number you calculate (the same goes for your other materials). Slight overestimation will keep you from having to run back to the stores in the middle of the job.
Depending on whether you want to hide the screwheads or not, you can then decide between allowing the heads to stand out as they are, or getting ones with painted heads. You could also make use of hardwood plug kits, matching them to the color of your decking, or install IPE clips between the boards – these will hide the screws entirely.
As for the actual process of assembling the deck, that goes far beyond the scope of this article, but rest assured there are plenty of how-to videos and blogs out there that can take you through the entire project.