Simpson connector questions


Old 07-04-14, 04:50 AM
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Simpson connector questions

I'm planning to install a freestanding deck off of the back of my house. The deck will be 20x20 cantilivered 18" on all sides, with 3 rows of 3 footings and posts, 3 beams, and joists spaced every 12" to support trex decking.
Where I'm running into confusion is choosing the right strong tie connectors, given the number of options.

My main concerns are as follows:

1. Which post base to foundation connector? I want to use the AB style as I like the adjustability of the J bolt. I also know I will get the zmax coating. But, do I go with the ABA or ABU? The main difference I see is the uplift rating and cost difference. How do I know if the ABA is sufficient? I want to build the deck considering I may add a roof over part of it at a later date, so I don't know if this makes the difference and justifies the extra cost for the ABU and it's higher uplift rating. I live in Pennsylvania, and we do get some decent wind in our neighborhood but we aren't in tornado territory.

2. Which post cap to beam connector to use? Due to future plans to potentially add roof, I plan on having both 4x4 and 6x6 posts. On both size posts I'll have double 2x12s as the beams. For the 4x4 post, I was going to use the bcsz cap, and on the 6x6 I was going to use the lpcz as I think it's adjustable to attach the double 2x12 to the 6x6 post. Am I using the right connectors? Any better ones to use?

3. Beam to joist connectors. Was planning on using h1z on all interior joists and h2.5az on exterior joists. Are these needed on BOTH sides of each beam, or just one per beam? Any other suggestions on connector to use?

4. Stair stringers. Lscz vs. lsu/lssu and not sure of the difference. Do the lsu or lssu require an extra tall rim joist for the connector to attach properly vs the Lscz attaching to a regular sized joist? Could use help here.

I appreciate any help!
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Old 07-04-14, 11:00 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Glad you are doing your homework ahead of the project
1) I personally like the ABU bases, but the cost factor is sometimes a deterrent. Either will suffice in what you are doing as long as your footing is large enough.

2) Check with your inspector to see if they will allow 4x4 posts. Most newer construction will call for 6x6's. The LPCZ is adjustable to the beam as is the AC cap. You will install them in pairs.

3) The beam-to-joist connectors can be attached on one side only. Each of the ones you mentioned are adequate. The H1 is easier to install, but you will have obvious problems on the exterior where the H2.5 will fall right in place.

4) I really like the LSU/LSSU connectors. You can see from the pictures of them, the stoutness afforded with them, versus the LSCZ. Of course the LSCZ's are used on the outer stringers and have nothing protruding past the stringer, much, whereas the LSU/LSSU will have a larger base. You, IMO, will trade a little stoutness for aesthetics in using the LSCZ.

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Old 07-04-14, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for the quick response! I'll preface this by saying I'm fine with spending the extra money if it's the right thing but don't want to upgrade to the more expensive solution if there's no significant advantage.

My footings are all 12" sonotube piers widening to between 15" and 24" at the bottom.

Is there something else you like about the ABU over the ABA besides the higher uplift rating? My inspector is fine with anything 4x4 or greater given my deck height (3-5 ft off ground). I was trying to minimize cost which is why I went to 4x4 posts on the corners given the increased connector costs.

Would a reasonable compromise be to go with 6x6 posts all the way around and stick with the cheaper ABA connector? Any other suggestion?

Do you prefer the ac or lpc better? Not sure I know the difference between the two. Any experience with the bcs connector? Another reason to upgrade to 6x6 posts so I can use the lpc/ac instead of the bcs?

Sounds to me that on the stringers I should use the lsc on the ends and the lsu on the middle stringers, unless I need to be consistent with those connectors for some reason?

One new question - given that I'm building a cantiliver deck, is there any reason to install a rim joist at the outside edge? Could I just install staggered blocking between the joists near the edge and attach my fascia board to the ends of the joists?

Thanks again!
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