Nails for deck framing


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Deck Framing

Deck Framing

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Deck Framing

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I just finished a 16 x 20 deck Sat. and used screws for the deck flooring. I used lag bolts to secure post the the deck framing. Screws on rails with the exception of 2" brads on the vertical lattice post.

But... I would never use screws on a shed or wall framing... why? Nails are sufficient for framing in those cases where you won't get excessive and directional weight thrown in the equation as on a deck. Especially one that sits 12' off the ground. Nails are "much" cheaper and much quicker to install.

I had two drills off of a split. One with a counter-sink bit and a 1/2" drill with a Phillips head set to drive with. It took a day and a half to set over 8 lbs. of 2 1/2" deck screws in the flooriing. I could have finished the floor with nails in about 2-3 hours by hand, much less a nailer (which I did use a Senco 18 guage to set the brads mentioned). But.. the screws will come up easier down the road if floor boards need to be replaced.

The shed is going to carry...

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FRAMING FASTENERS, NAILS, SCREWS - CONTENTS: Structural Fasteners, screws, nails, bolts, hidden fasteners used for wood frame construction, including deck & porch construction. Choices of deck nails, screws, coated fasteners, and hidden fasteners for deck floor, railing, joist hanger, and other construction connectors. Using drywall screws, roofing nails, hanger tabs, or other improper fasteners for wood framing POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about structural fasteners, nails, bolts, or hidden fasteners for wood framing of buildings, decks & porches REFERENCES

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Choices of deck structural & flooring fasteners:

types of construction screws, nails, bolts to use when building a deck, railing, or exterior stair.

This article explains critical safe-construction details for decks and porches, including avoiding deck or porch...

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Good vs Evil. Coke vs Pepsi. Blonde vs Brunette. Nails vs Screws. These are some of life’s essential dichotomies. When it comes to building your new deck, you don’t want to make the wrong choice.

So let’s go over your options when it comes to choosing nails or screws for your deck.

Note: These tips are for softwoods like cedar, redwood and pine. Attaching hardwood decks requires different techniques.

Use Nails For Framing

Nails are the better choice for attaching the joists to the deck frame because they won’t bend or snap as easily as screws will when the joists jostle a bit through the years. This video by Popular Mechanics explains why:

Nails come in a variety of sizes and uses, but you can shop for decking specific nails. While a bit more expensive, in Colorado it’s wise to use double-dipped galvanized nails that won’t rust or corrode over the life of your deck. Here’s a summary of the nails you should choose from:

Framing: Use 10d or...

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DEAR TIM: Recently a deck collapsed near where I live and people got seriously injured. The report blamed the failure on the use of nails that had corroded and couldn’t hold the weight. Could this be right? Every deck I know of has been built with nails and they seem to be fine. What is the current thinking on using nails and more importantly, what would you do if you were building a new deck? Would you use nails or some other fastener, like a screw? Brad G., Lexington, KY

DEAR BRAD: Decks collapse all the time here in the USA. I can clearly remember a major deck collapse in Cincinnati, Ohio decades ago while a large group of people assembled on a deck to watch a giant fireworks display. I'm quite sure there are quite a large number of decks that collapse here in the USA that never make the news. If you want to know how many it is, you'd have to dig into private data that insurance companies maintain.

My thinking on this subject has changed over the years because I’ve...

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[Summary]Nail Guide for DIY'ers – Framing Nails « remodeling for geeks One of the most basic things in building and remodeling are nails. Your entire house, except for the brick and concrete bits is built and held together with nails. When you walk into the h


Nail Guide for DIY’ers – Framing Nails « remodeling for geeks

One of the most basic things in building and remodeling are nails. Your entire house, except for the brick and concrete bits is built and held together with nails. When you walk into the hardware store looking for nails, there is a huge selection of types, sizes, coatings and finishes. One of the things that stops a lot of folks from doing remodeling projects is the wide selection of just the basic stuff like nails.

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Screws, nails, and anchoring hardware have to stand up to many years of moisture. Standard galvanized fasteners have a single protective coating, which may flake off and rust. Double-dipped galvanized fasteners are better protected, but you'll get the best life from coated fasteners made for decks. Stainless steel is costly, but the best.


Nails are sized by their length, designated by a penny, or d, size. Gauge, or diameter, increases as the penny size increases; a 16d nail is both longer and fatter than an 8d.

Common nails, used for general framing, have large heads and thick shanks. They hold well but are hard to drive and may split the wood.

Box nails, thinner than common nails of the same size, reduce splitting in 3/4-inch or thinner stock.

Ringshank and spiral nails grip the wood fibers and don't easily work their way out. They are very difficult to remove.

Finishing nails have slender shanks and small, barrel-shape heads. Use...

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Framing your deck will allow you to build a solid base for your deck. Assembling the frame on the beams is the next step when installing your deck. For this project you will need joists, a tape measure, pencil, a square, drill with bits, nails and screws, a hammer, joist hangers, corner brackets, hurricane ties and a saw.

To begin we will lay and measure the rim joists in conjunction with building codes, which will help support the floor joists. First cut the joists to size. When cutting treated lumber, be sure to apply a sealer to the edges. Cut 3 pilot holes in the ends of the rim. Resting on the beams, hold the rim joist against an end floor joist and attach them with screws through the pilot holes. Do the same thing on the other ends. Attach reinforcing brackets with nails. Position the frame at its final location making sure everything is square, and attach hurricane ties, which are brackets to hold the frame in place. The frame is locked, so we can install the rest of...

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Deck Framing is part 2 (of 7) steps describing how to build your own deck (a 10' x 10' deck example).

Framing is perhaps the most important phase of deck building. If the structure is not designed to carry the required load, or if the framing is unlevel or not square, building the remaining deck features like railing and stairs will be frustrating and difficult. It is much easier to build a deck correctly from the start. Use the diagram below as reference while reading through the framing phase of deck building.

Deck Framing Detail

Building the 10 x 10 Deck Frame

The 10 x 10 Deck Frame

The following tutorial explains the tools, materials and procedures required to build the 10 x 10 deck frame shown above.

Deck Framing Tools you will need:

The tools that you will need to frame your deck are listed below. The list is broken down into the tools that are


necessary, and the "nice to have"...

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While watching one of those TV Hero-Competition Bashing Contractor screwing a deck frame together the other day it illuminated a contentious debate in the Deck Business. Which is stronger… Nails or Screws for



Nails have a much greater sheer strength, while for a short time in a deck application screws may hold tighter. If this surprises you, try this experiment. Put a screw in a nice big block of wood about 1.5” deep…could be firewood, the type doesn’t matter.

Now, hit the screw with a hammer.

It sheers off clean.

Try the same thing with a nail.

You would have to bend the nail back and forth 50 times for it to snap off.

This is why we use Nails for framing.

If it is in the budget to use a joist gasket and stainless screws, we will use them. Or in the case of Pressure Treated, at request of the client, we will use ACQ Screws. However we do let them know that when it comes time to refinish the deck, you may end up...

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Neither - a good quality screw gun or impact drill is the way to go on decks.

You've got two framing nailers already - why the desire for a third?

Coil nailers kick out little pieces of wire which, if left on wood decking, will rust and stain the wood. Also, I don't think coil nailers can shoot 3" nails.

One problem with nailing decks down (besides nail pops, creaky boards and stubbed toes) is that there isn't a collated strip nail out there that is coated to prevent being eaten by pressure treated wood. There are galvanized nails but it's a plated coating. Double hot dipped nails don't work in guns because of the extra galv. coating would gum up the gun.

You could always buy a Teco gun (positive placement nailer). That would work just fine with your current compressor set up. Those are really nice for nailing off all the hardware on your deck's structural...

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Nails and screws are the two most popular wood fasteners, but how do you know which one to use?

This video demonstrates the shear strength of a standard construction nail, compared to a deck screw. The screw snaps off after a couple twists, but the nail remains intact and in the wood after multiple twists. This test clearly shows that nails are the better choice for structural construction framing where joints and lumber can shift and twist.

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But don't write off screws altogether. They have stronger holding abilities (tensile strength) than nails and can draw pieces together. Coupled with an adhesive, screws create a very tight bond between two pieces of wood. In a static situation such as a woodworking project, screws are usually the best choices for long-term strength.

The best example for when to use a nail versus screw is building a deck. Nails are used to attach the joists to the deck framing, and screws are...

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Decks, porches, gazebos, and other outdoor additions can make perfect accents to your property. For a much smaller investment than a room addition, deck builders are able to increase your living space and provide you with a perfect setting for outdoor gatherings. Though deck builders are often most comfortable working with traditional lumber, some deck builders are now offering tropical hardwoods, composites, and plastic lumbers that hold up better and require less maintenance than even pressure treated wood. If you already have a deck, repair is a must if you want to keep it performing well. Deck repair is needed more frequently in areas where excessive moisture or freezing temperatures are common. In these areas, the advice of professional deck builders is often invaluable when it comes to building materials, design, and required maintenance. In areas where weather conditions are less than deck-friendly, many homeowners opt to build porches, gazebos, or other covered outdoor...

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