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Tips to build a safe, strong deck

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When planning your deck for the long term, not only should your top decking material be considered for longevity but so should the integrity of the structure. Using the correct structural wood connectors is key. This technology has changed over the last decade, due to the changes in the deck market itself.

For any deck project, you will need an assortment of joist hangers and different sized screws, all depending on the design of your deck. Simpson Strong-Tie has the wood connectors to keep your deck structurally strong as it ages. LUS joist hangers are designed to provide support underneath the joist, rafter, or beam of your deck for a strong connection.

To select connectors rated for outdoor use – look for ZMAX® (G185) or stainless steel. The Strong-Drive® SD Connector Screws are designed to replace nails; mechanically-galvanized for exterior conditions, they work with Simpson Strong-Tie® connectors to make deck building stronger and easier.

Stair stringers

There are many different ways to build stairs for your deck. The most common way is to use stair stringers. They provide the support for stairs. You can build your own stair stringers by measuring the treads and risers on a 2×12 board. You will have to get the angle right and your measurements must be bang-on for each stringer.

An easier way is to use prefab stair stringers. The math, measuring and cutting is already done so installation will be easier and faster. Choose from metal or pressure treated wood stringers. Fewer stringers may be required with metal.

You want your stairs to be level and safe. Stair stringers shape the stairs and act as a frame, and are available in metal or wood. Talk to the experts at your local TIMBER MART about your stairway needs.


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