hardware shopping

weedyacresJune 25, 2009

I've been around to the local suppliers shopping for hardware, doing price comparisons, etc. A few questions about hardware and connections.

1. Simpson vs. USP: Local lumberyard sells Simpson Z-Max, Menards (regional chain) sells USP "triple Z" (for zinc), which are rated for ACQ and cost about 30% less. Any reason not to buy the USPs?

2. Beams on saddle or notch: Which is the better connection method? Post caps run about $14 each, whereas lag bolts are under $2, so notching would be cheaper but entail more labor. What would you do?

3. Hold down anchors: Are these required/recommended for all posts? One source I read says they're code, but Another source says to put 'em in with lag bolts. Who's right? They're $11 a pop, and I've got around 25 posts to mount. Is the answer different for 6x6 pergola posts vs. 4x4 railing posts for a deck 3 feet high?

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Forgot one more question:
4. SS vs. triple coated screws. SS are 3x the price. Are the triple-coated ones sufficient? We plan to countersink and plug them.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Anyone? Anyone? I've gone ahead and purchased the USP hardware, and plan to bite the bullet and go with SS screws. But the jury's still out on #2 and #3 if anyone would care to offer an opinion.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 8:36AM
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Use the same kind of fasteners as the connectors. If you get SS hardware, use SS screws. Same for HDG or zinc-plated. If you start mixing ss screws with HDG hardware, the chemicals in the ACQ lumber will cause electrolysis between the dissimilar metals and start corroding the hardware.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Thanks aidan. The screws will be to attach the decking. No contact with hardware.

The hardware is HDG, and was planning to nail with HDG nails.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 3:17PM
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