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Do not use screws for framing!

Our inspectors have seen a disturbing trend of late: people using wood or deck screws when building structural elements.

This means ordinary wood screws cannot be used to attach rafters to top plates, or joists to beams.

Nor can wood screws be used to install joist hangers.

Joist hangers are a really handy means of attaching joists to beams or ledger boards, but our inspectors have seen too many instances of joist hangers where builders have used deck screws as a fastener. This is a big no-no.

Joist hangers (and hurricane clips) are intended to be attached with nails or, in some cases, a specialty screw. Deck screws - like this - are not acceptable.

These hangers are actually engineered elements, and as such, must be attached according to the manufacturer’s instructions. There are many manufacturers of joist hangars, and none of them approve the use of deck or wood screws as an attachment. The only kind of screws that are acceptable are specialized screws, such as the Simpson brand joist hanger screws, for use in the Simpson joist hanger systems.

Deck screws or wood screws are not permitted in any structural situations: this includes building walls, attaching stairs to headers, constructing lintels – and yes, our inspectors have issued orders to correct improper building of all those elements. Don’t get caught out having to rebuild – do it right the first time: use proper-length construction nails for structural work.