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Deck Screws vs. Construction Screws for 2x4 Basement Framing

Deck Screws vs. Construction Screws for 2x4 Basement Framing


  #1  
Old 06-12-14, 05:52 AM
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Post Deck Screws vs. Construction Screws for 2x4 Basement Framing

Hey guys,

I'm framing a basement and would like to know whether I can use #9 2 1/2" deck screws instead of the #10 2 1/2" construction screws for framing 2x4s?

The deck screws are a lot cheaper. Also, a little side question, what do the #'s represent in reference to the screws?

thanks for the help!
 
  #2  
Old 06-12-14, 07:50 AM
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#9 vs #10 represent the shank diameter, the larger the number the thicker the shank.
If any of your wood is pressure treated you will need to use the mfgs recommended fastener for the chemicals used.
As for code in Canada we will need to wait to see if others know what is required, I don't.

I personally prefer galvanized nails where approved. They hold extremely well and when I have had to tear down work done 20 or 30 years previously and they are still holding like bull dogs. I find screws are good for pre assembly and for pulling materials together, but I always follow with the nail gun.

Any screws going into the concrete will need to be rated for that.

Bud
 
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Old 06-12-14, 07:50 AM
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If you are not using pressure treated wood, you can even use drywall screws.

Drywall screws vs. other types of wood screws
 
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Old 06-12-14, 11:24 AM
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It's not a good idea to use drywall screws for framing! they are too brittle and apt to break. I have used drywall screws in places I probably shouldn't have and haven't had any major disasters ... but it's still not a good idea.

before I forget welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 06-12-14, 10:55 PM
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Should be using nails not screws for framing.
Never ever use drywall screws for framing!!
 
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Old 06-13-14, 07:44 AM
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I am curious as to why the animosity towards screws, especially something like deck screws.
I can't think of any reason why they would be less likely to hold in place, they are already treated for moisture, and are intended for use in building structures that have to deal w/ weather, temperature changes, etc... a basement is a far less hostile environment and the walls aren't even really structural or load-bearing.

I would think if there were some important difference, there would be a code requirement yet I have never seen one.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 07:52 AM
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And, as a weekend hobbyist DIY homeowner who works on finishing his basement slowly on nights/weekends, screws have the MAJOR advantage of being able to work at 10pm while kids sleep above you...

Personally I use the Torx-head deck screws. No stripping heads. They are more expensive (and certainly than nails) but IMO the convenience is worth every penny.
I asked our local inspector, he didn't care.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 07:58 AM
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"...there would be a code requirement yet I have never seen one."
There are indeed code requirements. Some are more stringent than others. That's why one of the required inspections is "framing". As I understand, they look at number, size, and head type of nails used as one of the checks. Some areas require full head framing nails, some allow clipped head.

I remember an episode of Holmes on Homes, where he was working in earthquake prone SoCal. He was building walls using some sort of composite lumber. It was very strong, straight, and HARD. CA code required nails, because of sheer strength, where he had always used construction screws. They couldn't even shoot the nails into this stuff using guns. The nails would bend over or not penetrate. Even though the screws are in common use, CA code had not tested and approved them. I don't remember how the problem was resolved.
 
  #9  
Old 06-13-14, 10:43 AM
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In NJ years back they required 5 visible nails at each end of a 2x4 stud. Try that with dry lumber, doesn't work well.

To illustrate the difference between nails and screws, drive one of each deep into a stud leaving an inch sticking out. Now smack them up and down with a hammer. The screw will almost always break with the second hit where a nail will keep you busy for awhile. Screws are simply made of hardened steel which adds strength in one aspect, but a significant loss in flexibility.

Codes have years of experience with nails, where screws can vary from cheap imports to some you can drive into concrete. Bottom line is follow the required codes and if screws are allowed do some homework to use a good one.

Bud
 
 

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