New Decking help

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Old 04-27-17, 06:01 AM
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New Decking help

Hello.

I'm new to DIY, and am going to try to take on this project of laying down new decking...

My current decking is totally shot, meaning the boards are rotted and need to be replaced. The frame is fine though. I was planning on pulling up the old boards, and laying new ones down—seems pretty straightforward

Deck specs:

Approx 14' x 18', will use PT pine boards, that match the current ones.

Big question is, nails VS screws, and then nail gun or collated screw gun? I know there are many opinions on this, so I'm curious to hear them all.

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 04-27-17, 06:22 AM
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Years ago I justified a new air nailer by telling the wife I would use it to nail down decking using galvanized ring shank nails. At least twice a year, every year I had to nail down the nail pops. Don't make the mistake I made; use screws! BTW, you might be surprised how fast it will be to use an impact driver. My deck was just slightly bigger than yours and I used my impact driver when I put down new decking; certainly not as fast as a collated screw gun, but close.
 
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Old 04-27-17, 06:35 AM
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Hey thanks!

I dont have an impact driver, but maybe it's worth buying one, VS a collated Screw gun? probably get more use from the driver? Any tips on which one would be good for this? And would I need to drill pilot holes for this? Thanks again
 
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Old 04-27-17, 06:57 AM
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The first time I ever saw an impact driver was on a jobsite where the contractor was driving Tapcons; I was amazed how much better it worked than the cordless drill I had always used! I bought a 18V Lithium Ion Makita and love it; I've always had good luck with Makita. The little LED light that I originally looked at as a gimmick is worth it's weight in gold. If you get a impact driver you'll never drive screws with a drill again.

I was using 5/4 treated pine on my deck and didn't need pilot holes. I held back about 3/4" and angled the screws slightly.
 
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Old 04-27-17, 07:30 AM
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I would use screws and install them with an impact driver. It's a lot of time down on your knees but the stand up screw guns and screws that come loaded into strips for the guns are quite expensive and it's a specialized tool you'll probably never need again. Once you have an impact driver you'll wonder how you ever did without it. They are relatively inexpensive and often come packaged in a set with a cordless drill.
 
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Old 04-27-17, 08:04 AM
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thanks!
Im going to look into this type of tool.

So is the process then, to pre-drill the holes for a board, then use the driver to screw them in. Repeat for each board?

when you said that you "held back 3/4", did you mean that your pre-drilled hole went 3/4 of the way through the deckboard and joist? If so, is there an easy way to drill this depth?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-27-17, 09:37 AM
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I didn't predrill, I found it wasn't necessary with the treated pine I used. What I meant by hold back was to drive the screws about 3/4" from the end and 3/4" from the edge, and then angle the screw slightly so you hit the joist below.

I would also suggest buying a pair of knee pads if you don't already have them. Your knees will thank you!
 
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Old 04-27-17, 10:27 AM
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if you do that, drill in on a slight angle, how do you get the screw heads to be flat to the surface of the decking?
And without pre-drilling, did you just line up the screw and use the impact driver to drill them right into the decking? No problem?

thanks!
 
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Old 04-27-17, 10:28 AM
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I have pre drilled and it does seem to help prevent splitting especially at the ends of the decking boards. There is a drill bit just for the job and it has a drill and countersink all in one. It's not terrible if you have one drill set up for the drilling and another to run in the screws but it does DOUBLE the work.
 
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Old 04-27-17, 10:49 AM
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Yeah that's what i was wondering, it does seem to double the work, and since it's just myself and my wife doing this...wondering if i'm better off getting the collated nail gun, since they can be bought for around $100.
 
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Old 04-27-17, 11:59 AM
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Driving Screws

A corded drywall screw gun will allow you to control the depth of drive to put the screw heads at the exact depth you want them. You will need to make adjustments on the drive depth on the first two or three screws. And a drywall gun is fast!

I prefer to pre-drill to reduce splitting of the boards. Small splits will let in moisture and hasten rot.
 
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Old 04-27-17, 12:53 PM
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thanks, sounds like pre-drilling and then using an impact driver is the preferred method. More work, but probably better results?

curious what types of screws you would suggest? and then what bit to use for the pre-drilling?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-27-17, 01:14 PM
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Use ceramic coated decking screws, readily available at home centers. Get the ones with T-25 torx heads. No camming out and no stripping. Get the impact driver. Many uses for it later on other projects. A collated screw gun will be put on a shelf and never used after your project. You'll STILL have to buy an impact driver for around the house.
 
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Old 04-27-17, 01:43 PM
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good stuff, thanks.
Will see about one of those combo kits with drill and driver. 18v is probably good?

thanks agian
 
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