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hardware shopping

Posted by weedyacres (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 25, 09 at 15:30

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?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: hardware shopping

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.

RE: hardware shopping

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.

RE: hardware shopping

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.

RE: hardware shopping

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.

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