Decks add a dose of fun to backyards and functionality to commercial and recreational spaces. But first comes the hard work. Achieving the perfect board spacing, driving screws to the right depth – even something as simple as matching your screw color to your lumber – can be a challenge.
But these simple tips can help you choose the right tools and fasteners to make your next deck a sturdy and eye-catching success.
Screws may be one of the smallest items you bring to the job site, but they literally hold your entire decking project together. Choosing wisely is crucial, so consider the following characteristics.
Length: Take the guesswork out of your next decking project by planning for 1-inch penetration. Decks are most commonly constructed of 1″ or “5/4″ board, but some projects use 2x lumber, so choose the right screw length to achieve 1-inch penetration for your specific project. The 2½” length screw has historically been the most common for decking projects, but 2″ screws are becoming increasingly popular – and they fit the bill for most decks.
Gauge: SENCO recommends #8 size screws, which are the industry standard for decking projects.
Drive type: Choosing screws with a square drive will aid in torque transmission, allowing you to drive your screws to just the right depth – a bit below the surface of your material.
Finish: Consider the weather at your building site. For most decking projects, SENCO’s exterior finish stands up to the elements ‒ resisting red rust for over 1,000 hours of salt-spray testing (per ASTM B117) ‒ and is acceptable for any pressure-treated lumber. Stainless steel screws are ideal for places with heavier exposure to precipitation and temperature shifts. Tip: If you’re building a cedar or redwood deck (or using any type of wood with high acidic content), your best bet is to go with stainless steel to avoid black streaks on your wood.
Color: Decking screws come in different colors to match decking, including brown, red, tan and gray.
Long gone are the days of driving thousands of screws by hand. And aren’t you glad?
SENCO offers a line of auto-feed screwdrivers to make your next decking project a breeze. With 50 screws per strip, you don’t have to worry about holding screws in your free hand, constantly stopping to reach in your pouch for more or bending over to fasten them. SENCO is the only company to offer a patented sliding screw strip rail, which goes all the way forward and attaches to the slide body. This makes it easier to load and prevents the strips from falling out.
Installing floor boards: An extension pole allows you to install decking boards while standing up, making it easier on your knees and back. SENCO offers this standup attachment standard with its DS425AC and DS440AC tools.
Installing railings: The DS312-18V from SENCO is cordless and offers added versatility that allows you to drive screws in any direction – a major plus when installing railings on your deck.
Decking success, of course, goes beyond the fasteners and tools you choose. These four bonus tips can help set your deck apart from the crowd.
SENCO makes tools and fasteners to handle any job you’re tackling. Find your local SENCO dealer and start building.