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How to Install Composite Decking With Screws

One of the most pleasant experiences a homeowner in Melbourne can have is to relax in their backyard, taking in the sights and sounds of the outdoors from the comfort of a deck.

But before you can enjoy the spectacle of your garden from a raised platform, or to take in the sounds of native birdsong from the sunchair you put on top of it, you need to stop dreaming about it and get one installed.

image - How to Install Composite Decking With Screws
How to Install Composite Decking With Screws

When choosing a deck for your home, the choices you make around its size, shape, height, and colour, will determine the overall visual appeal of your deck as well as its spatial dimensions, which you will later put to good use when you’re kicking back on that sunchair or entertaining guests with a BBQ.

But another decision you’ll need to make is how you’ll fasten your deck to its frame.

In this article, we look at the conventional method of installing a deck using screws, as well as touching on the lesser-known alternative of the hidden fastening system.


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Using Screws to Install a Deck

The conventional method for building a deck has always been to build an underframe, consisting of interlocking joists and beams, onto which a series of planks are mounted to create a platform.

In this method, the planks are fastened to the underframe using screws.

It is a relatively straightforward process where the builder marks across the underframe the points at which he or she will fasten the planks. Typically, these points will be evenly measured and placed at regular intervals across the deck to create a look of uniformity.

Although it’s not a requirement, it is good practice to pre-drill holes across both the underframe and the planks which he intends to install there, before sinking screws into the wood and securing the boards into place for good.

The benefit of using screws is that it’s a relatively easy process that works with both timber and composite products.

However, it should be noted that while it’s optional (and generally good practice) to pre-drill holes in any type of deck, it is absolutely necessary that you do it for composite boards due to their high density.

It is important that you consider this when you select the type of deck you want to install, as pre-drilling can add more time and money to your project.

Good quality screws last a long time and will create a strong bond that will keep all planks firmly in place.

In addition to this, screws are probably the most cost-effective fastening devices when it comes to decks.

This is particularly true today as advances in screw technology mean screws now penetrate wood with greater ease, causing less damage to the wood itself, and they last a long time, meaning they won’t need to be replaced as often (if ever).

An Alternative in Hidden Fastening Systems

Some people consider screws to be a bit of an eyesore, even when they’re placed at regular intervals to create a more refined, uniform look.

This is because screws are drilled through the top of the decking board and their heads will remain forevermore visible across the surface of your deck.

If screws aren’t your thing, there is always the second option of a hidden fastening system for composite decks.

Using this installation method, the underframe is fitted with clips and the planks are mounted over the top by attaching them to these clips.

This gets rid of those screw heads and adds a seamless, uniform appearance to the surface of your deck that is more visually appealing to the eye.

This method is also generally faster than using screws, however, the initial outlay might cost more when installing a composite deck for Melbourne households.

Final Say…

It’s time to stop dreaming. Now that you’ve got the lowdown on the two main methods used when installing decks, you can make a more informed decision around which would be most suitable for your home.

You can now transform your vision of the dream deck into a reality and get outside sooner to enjoy from it the simple pleasures of the Aussie backyard experience.


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