Your deck builder knows that satisfying you, the customer – by delivering improved decking performance over a longer life, through exceptional service and quality materials, workmanship and building techniques – is why he or she is in business.
Quality in materials and construction are the most important aspects of decking delivery as these elements determine whether a deck will perform well over a long life when exposed to the damaging effects of weathering.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) contains technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures, covering such matters as structure, fire resistance, access and egress, services and equipment, and certain aspects of health and amenity. The BCA has the status of building regulations in all States and Territories, providing the minimum regulatory requirements for buildings in Australia. Your decking must, as a minimum, comply with the BCA.
Prestige Dek-Tie releases the Prestige Dek-Tie, a deck fastening system that any trade or handy person can use. Building your deck using Prestige Dek-Tie’s will enhance your entertainment & outdoor living area because there are No nail or screw heads visible. Any type of decking timber can be used in a variety of widths and thicknesses.
In addition to the requirements of the BCA, it is strongly recommended that the deck builder, specialist contractor or customer (as appropriate) apply the following good practices:
- Use good workmanship
- Use good quality subframe timber (low shrinkage or seasoned and of high durability) of the strength group specified in the design
- Use wide joists
- Use good quality decking timber (kiln dried with moisture content between 12-15%, stable and of high durability)
- Use hot-dipped galvanised, class 3 mechanical coated or stainless steel fixings as required by the BCA and suitable for the exposure conditions
- Protect decking from heat and moisture whilst stored on site prior to use.
- Take action, before or after construction, to ensure the area under the deck dries quickly after rain without water pooling
- Seal cut ends, checked joints and timber interfaces
- Use a moisture barrier between bearer/joist and joist/deck board surfaces
- Apply a finish/sealer liberally to the cut ends before fixing decking
- Allow a 5 to 10mm gap between adjacent boards (5mm AS3959-2009 Building in a Bushfire Zone)
- Fix decking by hand with stainless steel or hot dipped galvanised twist dome head nails or with a recommended proprietary fixing system
- Hand nailing with give a stronger hold down than machine nailing
- Some fixing systems give a nail-free finish
- Place nails in a formal staggered alignment to avoid splitting the joist
- A deck is classed as a floor for BCA regulations so the same standards apply
- Drill a small pilot hole in the decking to avoid splitting
- Drill the board ends and hand nail to avoid end splits
- Drive nails so the head is flush with the top of the deck – do not punch
- Follow normal BCA requirements for fixing wide flooring boards (over 100mm must be top nailed)
- Apply another finish coat after the decking has been laid (where a penetrating oil or stain finish is to be used ) or as recommended by the manufacturer
- Reapply the decking finish at regular intervals as recommended by the finish manufacturer
- Undertake a termite inspection at regular intervals as recommended by pest treatment professionals
- To achieve optimum performance, the following practices should also be undertaken:
- Cut deck board butt ends with a slight backward undercut – ensures top surfaces will meet
- Seal the tops of joists before fixing decking
- Apply one sealer coat all round the decking boards before fixing to protect decking from weathering and cupping, twisting or checking.
Price Vs Quality
You only get what you pay for and not all generically named products and construction techniques are the same, with significant variations in performance resulting from differing qualities. Generic specifications, eg “F14 hardwood”, or “hardwood decking” or “fixing with two nails at each joist” are too broad and allow too much variation into lower quality with the possible effect of dissatisfaction with the performance and longevity of your deck.
We recommend using only good quality materials and workmanship to ensure that you gain the satisfaction which comes from a deck which performs well over a long life.
- Not all subframe timbers are equal
- Not all decking timbers are equal
- Not all fixing materials are equal
- Not all construction methods are equal
- Not all decking fixing methods are equal and so on
- As a generalisation, higher quality materials and construction techniques will perform better and last longer.
Posts – H5 treated pine, cypress posts (heartwood free) or Hot Dipped Galvanised steel
Subframe – H3 treated pine, cypress pine, f27 hardwood or steel
Decking – Kiln dried class 1 or 2 hardwoods are signifacntly better performing timber species than seasoned timbers.
There are several “nail-less” fastening systems for decking on the market. Some have to be forced into the edges of the decking board with a hammer blow, (this could cause splitting of hardwoods or a not so tight hold as in softwoods), then fixed to the side of the joist. Others have to be fixed from the underside of the decking (somewhat difficult if the deck is low to the ground). Others use clips that fit into grooves machined into the edges of the decking boards.
Good quality is not automatic. There is a wide range of qualities in materials and workmanship supplied in the decking market from lowest (and possibly unacceptable) to best. If you do not specify good quality you may not receive it. Do not leave supply of good quality materials and workmanship to chance. Ask your supplier for quality assurance certificates on any imported timbers. Are they from sustainable forests? Does their logging impact on the wildlife of the source country? Are they kiln dried and not just seasoned? etc etc.
The Prestige Dek-Tie is a simple device that effectively holds boards in place by acting as the tongue for a pair of grooves quickly cut into the edge of any board using a biscuit jointer or router with a slot 4mm cutter. Either way is easy, cheap, relatively quick and effective. Some decking timber suppliers can also supply your decking timber already slotted and oiled to make it easier for you or your builder to fix into position.
Any person who feels capable of building a deck be they tradesman or keen DIY’er can now achieve the ultimate finish on their deck.
Use the decking board of your choice 65-90mm wide and from 19mm-35mm thick.
NOTE: boards wider than 90mm may show excessive cupping and shrinkage, especially if it is a tropical species such as Merbau, Balau or Batu.
The Prestige Dek-Tie accomplishes all the above.
Made from UV stabilized virgin polypropylene to exacting standards, the Prestige Dek-Tie is made in Australia for Australian conditions. Dek-Tie’s are supplied with special screws and a driver bit. Should you require them, we can supply self drilling C1022 Steel screws for metal joists (will Drill into 2.5mm thick steel). All screws are Ruspert coated and tested to 1000hrs in a high pressure salt water spray (better than hot dipped Galvanised).
For further information see our contact page.