Better Deckbuilding Basics: Tips for High-Quality, Long-Lasting Decking Projects

Edison, NJ, August 03, 2013 --( Each year, homeowners spend anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars to replace existing decks or build new ones in order to expand outdoor living spaces.

The reasoning is simple. Americans are constantly looking for the best ways to enhance basic comforts, while guaranteeing a return-on-investment. In fact, the enduring truth is that home sales, even in this economic environment, regularly recoup upwards of 75 percent of original deck costs.

However, this doesn't mean that all decks are built and valued equally. The composition of materials and the deck's design are integral for not only ensuring long-standing durability, but also raising home prices.

According to Scott Nowatzki of Starborn Industries, there are numerous do's and don'ts that can either produce decades of trouble-free use or ongoing problems that jeopardize both safety and home purchases.

"Common deckbuilding mistakes can lead to structural instability, costly repairs, and even injury," says Nowatzki. "It is imperative to consult with professionals as well as follow local building codes and product manufacturers' recommendations. This is especially true in an era when there are so many decking options ranging from the use of pressure-treated to hardwoods to composite deck boards."

Nowatzki cites the failure to properly gap between deck boards and ventilate the underside of decks as one of the primary reasons for performance issues, including excessive expansion and moisture swell which could lead to mold and algae growth. Other errors include improperly fastening decking to joist substructures, not using the proper number of fasteners, or failing to match the right fastener with materials. It is critical that builders and homeowners follow the instructions of the deck board manufacturers to ensure proper installation.

Below are some general informative tips that may help in the decision and installation process. Subsequently, Nowatzki recommends:

-Always follow the manufacturer's gapping instructions. For most composite decking, there is typically a 1/16" expansion for every 10 degree increase in temperature expected from the time of installation to the hottest day of the year. Always leave a minimum gap of 1/16".
-Properly ventilate enclosed areas below the decking to avoid the swamp-like conditions that can arise under skirted decks. Heat and moisture will greatly accelerate the deterioration of most composite decking material as well as the framing.
-Sand and stain pressure-treated lumber once a year to increase the deck's longevity and enhance its structural stability.
-Install decking with screws top down to ensure the greatest holding power. Other methods, such as hidden clip systems, simply clamp the deck board to the joists or framing and don't permanently affix the deck board to the frame. Furthermore, systems that attach decking at an angle through the side of the deck board only provide roughly 1/3 the holding power of top down fastening.
Use stainless steel fasteners. They provide the best corrosion resistance and long-term performance.
-Color coordinated deck screws help conceal screw heads, while still providing the holding power of top-down fastening. For instance, Headcote Captor XD® stainless steel deck screws from Starborn Industries are available in 19 colors to blend with all types of decking including Ipe, Cedar, Mahogany, treated lumber, PVC, composites with or without capstock.

For more information on the latest deckbuilding techniques please call 1-800-596-7747 or visit Starborn Industries at In addition to offering in-depth product descriptions and imagery, the new website offers broad-based application details through its online and educational Deck Fastener Information Center ( The Deck Fastener Information Center allows users to conveniently and quickly input project details such as deck manufacturer, color and size and then automatically retrieve fastener options including the recommended screw type, head color and even the number of screws needed to complete projects.

About the Company
Starborn Industries, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of innovative fasteners and related products for the building industry. Founded in 1961, the company holds a well-deserved, industry-wide reputation within the deck-building, construction and woodworking businesses. Starborn products including its Headcote®, Smart-Bit®, Cap-Tor® and Deckfast® brands are also now available internationally through distributors and dealers servicing Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.
Starborn Industries
William Chelak