Finishing up IPE deck

zver11October 1, 2011

Summary to date.

Screwed down 2500+ headcote screws(#8 2.5" thru 5/4 IPE), Predrilled with smartbit (included in 1750 box of screws)using impact driver. Found touching screw tip into toilet wax ring made a big difference on screws going in. Once had procedure down, screw breaking not a problem.

Realized as went along that screws used lower than standard estimates: diagonal decking takes fewer screws since effective spacing of approx 24" between screws along board. Odd that allen wrenches provided with smart bits wrong size! fortunately had correct larger size handy.

A little concerned about long term appearance. Screws go down below deck surface. Length of shaft portion of screw less than 1" thickness of IPE meaning not really pull down deck board until slightly below surface.

Ordered long boards which meant fewer end to end boards--faster install since not need to double up joists in most areas and reduced time measuring and cutting boards. Time savings only slightly offset by needing to straighten boards more as screw in (heavy use bow wrench, clamps and spacer blocks).

Issues outstanding:

Finishing ends of boards:

Want ends of boards to be covered by faceboard. Person helping out suggested using trim router run against rim joist before putting on faceboard to make end of boards perfectly clean and exactly hit faceboard. (needs heavy duty router and bit). Any opinions on this? Any problem with no gap between faceboard and end of deck boards?

Painted into corner:

Largest of deck segments is diagonal decking box away from house with parallel deck boards on walkway area near house wall. Measured outward from house and did diagonal first (for complicated reasons). Now concerned on straightening last parallel boards as reach house. Bow wrench not useable too close to house wall.


Surface mounted Aluminum railing. Measuring out, it seems that top of stairs post needs to be taller than posts on rest of deck. Is this true? Taller posts are available, but concerned about appearance.

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Can you post a photo of your diagonal layout? I'm having a hard time picturing it from your description.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 7:48AM
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