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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Hardware Solutions for Outdoor Construction




Evolving construction codes and innovative hardware solutions are presenting better ways to build an outdoor structure. Metal connectors, hidden fasteners, and foundational supports are changing the way decks and pergolas are assembled from the ground up.


Outdoor Accents Decorative Hardware



Pro remodelers and DIY’ers can design and build beautiful and structurally strong custom outdoor structures like pergolas, pavilions, arbors, gazebos, fences, and patio covers using the popular Outdoor Accents decorative hardware from Simpson Strong-Tie. New product additions to the Outdoor Accents Mission Collection and Avant Collection both offer a choice of styles to suit your taste — from ornate and traditional to clean and simple. No matter which collection you choose, all Outdoor Accents connectors and fasteners are rigorously tested for strength and performance.


Both collections feature an innovative hex-head washer and fastener combo, so you'll get the look of a bolted connection that installs as easily as driving a screw. And the black powder-coat finish ensures an eye-catching appearance. The concealed-flange hangers feature straight edges and provide a cleaner-looking installation for joist connections. Visit www.strongtie.com.



Titan Wood Post Anchor


Another concealed connector is the Titan Wood Post Anchor that makes it possible to install privacy panels, pergolas, gazebos, and wood posts on decks by surface-mounting to wood, composite, concrete, or stone surfaces with a low visibility connection.



The Titan Post Anchor is available in 4x4, 4x6, 6x6 and 8x8 sizes for wood posts on wood or composite decks, stairs, patios, concrete or other hard surfaces. A sharp-edged, lightweight, rigid tube tracks into a pre-drilled circular saw kerf and then cuts deep into the core of the wood post. The tube holds the post and anchor together longer, providing greater security rather than screws alone. This makes the connection more visually appealing. Where more strength is needed, optional Post Braces are available. (Check local building codes in your area before installing this product.) Visit www.titanbp.com.



HDG Deck Support Brackets



HDG Engineered Products offers a line of heavy steel brackets to reinforce a wood deck frame and secure it to a house. The Steel Structural Deck Support System includes ledger brackets that support more than 1,500 pounds with a 4- or 5-inch standoff, designed to connect decks to walls with brick veneer siding.

Also available are 12-gauge galvanized post and corner brackets (stainless steel is also available). This unique structural deck support system strengthens and reinforces wood deck and porch framing components by connecting the outdoor structure to the adjacent home’s floor structure. The H1 Series Deck Ledger Brackets are structurally designed to securely attach decks to building frames. The H2 Series Corner Brackets support the outside Rim Joist and connect it to the Deck Ledger Board as well as provide reinforcement for the 4x4 Handrail post bolts. Visit www.hdgep.com.



Deck2Wall Spacers



The deck-ledger connection is notoriously susceptible to rot, which can dangerously affect the stability and support of the deck. Deck2wall Spacers help prevent rot from occurring by separating the ledger from the supporting structure, providing a path for water and debris to flow harmlessly through the assembly, while promoting circulation and drying. Stacked washers have often been used as spacers over lag bolts, but Deck2wall Spacers have attachment holes to keep them in perfect alignment for faster and easier installation. They offer more bearing surface than washers for better load distribution, and the plastic spacers are non-corrosive. Plus, the one-piece design and installation method provide superior waterproofing.



Deck2Wall Spacers also work as a long-lasting solution for attaching shade structures, posts, stair stringers, landings, built-up beams or mechanical equipment. Made in the USA and available in two sizes, the spacers are injection-molded, fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene. Visit www.deck2wallspacer.com.



Camo Block Floating Deck Foundation



National Nail's Camo Block is a lightweight, heavy-duty polyolefin deck block for building above-ground decks, platforms, and other exterior projects. It is designed to eliminate the need for heavy cement blocks.


"At just over 2 lbs., the Camo Block is significantly lighter in weight than traditional concrete blocks, so you can easily transport them in one trip to the truck and onto the jobsite," explains Greg Groenhout, Camo Product Manager. "It is the most versatile deck block on the market, accepting 4x4 and 6x6 wood posts, 2x wood joists, and up to-2 in. metal joists. And because the BLOCK is precision-engineered to fit these sizes, you get a snug fit without the effort and headache of chiseling out the channel."



Made of long-lasting polyolefin, Camo Block will not chip or crack, even in cold weather. It's made from recycled material and can be recycled at the end of its life. Each Block is precision-molded to fit standard lumber specifications without the need for modification on the job. It features ribs and weep holes to direct water away from the substructure and prevent buildup, rot and mold. Load-rated to support 1800 PSI, the Camo Block is designed to build freestanding decks from 5-1/2 to 30 in. high. They can be used for various platform profiles, including low-profile, raised-profile, variable-height, and hybrid-profile. They can also be used for rooftop decks, landings, walkways, sheds, and dog houses. They can be installed on any flat and firm surface, including uneven ground with some leveling. The Camo Block is backed by a 30-year Limited Warranty. Visit camofasteners.com.



DeckLok Lateral Anchor



The DeckLok is a versatile lateral anchor that can strengthen all sorts of connections on your deck. It can help prevent deck collapse, railing collapse, and stair collapse. On railing systems, DeckLok provides a bolted connection between the guard post and the floor

joists of the deck. IBC Code requires the guard rail post to resist a force of 500 lbs. at a point 36 inches above the surface of the deck, and DeckLok achieves this. Mounting the DeckLok lateral anchors directly to the base of the rail post, or to the deck board, creates a solid mounting surface while still using traditional construction techniques. For stair stringers, DeckLok adds rigidity and strength by creating a bolted connection to the deck band board and the stringers.



The patented design ensures a more secure attachment between these deck components, reducing the possibility of structural failure. At ledger connections, DeckLok can provide a bolt-on connection between your deck and the house’s floor joist. Current building code requires decks to be bolted to the band or rim board of the house. Note: The International Residential Code (IRC) now requires the connection to the structure to be designed for both vertical and lateral load, and DeckLok does this. Visit www.deck-lok.com.



U2 Fasteners Universal and Construction Screws



U2 Fasteners describes its enhanced Universal Screw as a “deck screw on steroids,” ideal for replacing old, failing deck screws. Made of case-hardened carbon steel, these self-starting screws feature U2’s trademark Tight Star Recess, so they grip the matching U-bit so tightly they allow for one-handed installation. Underneath the Universal head, special Burrow Pockets are engineered to countersink into the toughest of materials. This screw is available

in sizes ranging from 1/2 to 12 inches, as well as in an assortment of stainless 316 versions.



For structural connections, the U2 Construction Screw (aka the CS Screw) is the next generation of structural screw that is replacing lag screws. It features a dome head for enhanced strength, a self-starting tapper point, and “Talon Grip” nibs beneath the head that prevent loosening when countersunk. Plus, the Reamer Thread enlarges the hole in the material to reduce tension on the screw head when drawing materials together. The CS Screw is a fast-driving and reliable choice for installing ledger boards, anchoring beams, and other heavy-duty construction tasks. Visit www.u2fasteners.com.



Skylift Roof Riser



Want to extend a roof over a deck or patio? The heavy-duty Skylift roof riser bracket extensions feature professionally-engineered construction and a black metal finish. Designed to easily increase the height and/or pitch of most patio, deck and pergola roof coverings, the 18- to 36-in. powder-coated brackets can attach to rooftops, building sides, and more.



The SkyLift hardware brackets are a simple, secure, and sealed method to install an attached roof over your outdoor living area. Visit www.skylifthardware.com.



TOOL SPOTLIGHT

DeckWise Hardwood Wrench Jr.



Deck installers and contractors know the original Hardwood Wrench is the beefiest, most stout deck board bending tool on the market! DeckWise® has now scaled down the Hardwood Wrench to a "junior" size for the DIY'er, weekend warrior, and pro deck builder.


Even the most seasoned deck installer knows how grueling it can be when wrangling bent and warped deck boards into submission. Especially when it’s a one-man show or a weekend project. This is where its multidirectional components and multiconfiguration features save the day. The uncomplicated design of the Hardwood Wrench Jr. fashions it as one of the most innovative board straighteners ever created. Its simplicity results in a lightweight, economical deck-board tool, making it a valiant contender bending unruly hardwoods, thermal woods, pressure-treated, and composites.


Use when fastening edge-groove clips or when top-down face screwing on either wood or metal joists. Its universal versatility easily adjusts to fit 1-1/2- to 3-in. wide joists and utilizes a cam-lever action pushing up to 1,100 lbs. of force. This rapidly increases on-site deck installations with more efficiency over typical pry bars or chisels.


The advanced and patented technology utilizes a rotating, locking cam coupled with an elongated dog-leg which stabilizes and locks this tool into place. Additionally, there are no uncooperative wheels, dials, clamps, or flexible tubing that can slip or spin off the board or joist, making the installer stop fastening just to reset the tool again, and again.


Hands Free Deck Board Fastening!

·         Rotating Cam Locks-in Boards

·         Up to 1,100 lbs. of Pushing Force

·         Solid Steel Pins Grab Joists Tight

·         Multi-Directional Capabilities

·         Right- or Left-Hand Operation

·         Reversible Handle for Tight Spaces

·         Adjustable for Single and Double Joists


Give yourself the freedom you need with a deck tool that delivers true "One-Man, One-Hand Installation" capabilities. Simply set your deck boards in place to install hidden deck fasteners or face screws. When an unwieldy board comes your way, place the Hardwood Wrench Jr. (or Hardwood Wrench) onto a joist in either single- and double-joist configuration, and slide it up the joist so the locking cam touches the edge of the warped board. Effortlessly swing the handle upward to lock the board into a straight position, locking the board in place. Now continue fastening the deck board. It’s that easy!



It easily adjusts to fit 1-1/2- to 3-in. wide joists and utilizes a cam-lever action pushing up to 1,100 lbs. of force. This rapidly increases on-site, one-handed deck installations with more efficiency than using pry bars or chisels. Simply set your deck boards in place to install hidden deck fasteners or face screws. Place the Hardwood Wrench Jr. onto a joist in either single and double-joist configuration, and slide it up the joist so the locking cam contacts the edge of the warped board. Swing the handle to lock the board into a straight position, then fasten the deck board. The advanced and patented technology utilizes a rotating, locking cam coupled with an elongated dog-leg which stabilizes and locks this tool into place. Visit https://www.deckwise.com.


Watch DeckWise Marketing Director, Roderick Kabel, walk you through the Hardwood Wrench Jr. components and usage.




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