Outdoor framing hardware and fasteners
Building codes now require framing hardware for many connections. These connectors strengthen the joints. Attach joists to beams with joist hangers. At the corners, use angle brackets.
Where a beam sits on a post, a post-to-beam bracket provides a secure connection. On beams, many local codes require seismic ties with joists, which add lateral strength.
A post anchor secures a post to a concrete pier and supports it above grade so the bottom won't sit in a puddle. Purchase adjustable post anchors so you can line up the post centers.
Heavy-duty screws and bolts
To fasten large framing members together, such as railing posts to joists, use lag screws, machine bolts, or carriage bolts. Bolts are stronger and can be tightened in the future if the lumber shrinks. Always use washers under the head of a lag screw or machine bolt and the nut on a carriage or machine bolt so the fastener head does not sink into the wood.
To attach wood to brick, block, or concrete, use lag screws and lag shields (also called masonry anchors). To tack a ledger temporarily, use masonry screws; they're not as strong but are much easier to drive and don't require an anchor.
Hidden clips and rails
You can install decking these days without any visible fasteners. Deck clips, recessed fasteners, and metal rails all attach the decking to the joists, either between or under the decking.
Many carpentry jobs call for adhesives, either as the primary or secondary fastener. Purchase several tubes of construction adhesive to help keep miters from separating. Two-part epoxy in syringes is self-mixing. You'll need it to anchor threaded studs in post footings.
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