Monday, September 1
The first thing on the agenda this morning was to finish up the joists for the main level deck. My Dad, Mom and I measured and cut rest of the main level joists and put them in place. These were some big boards to move around as some of them were 16 foot 2x8's. And on top of that, they had to have a 45 degree angle cut on one end. While we were doing that Tim came along, with a close quarter drill, and screwed them into the joist hangers. After we finished the rest of the main deck joists, we started Installing the rest of joist hangers for the other decks.
We cut and installed the joists for the left 2nd level deck after installing the joist hangers. These were a lot easier to do than the main level deck joists because they were just straight cuts. We had to chisel away a little wood on some of the joists as some of them were a little sitting a little too tall.
The right 3rd level deck was next. Even though it was a smaller deck, it was actually a bit harder to install the joists because there wasn't a lot of room to maneuver the drill around and screw them in.
The right 2nd level deck was the last to have joists installed. My Dad and my uncle Andrew cut joists, then my Mom and I shimmed them to level them, due to them being the last of our boards and not the best pickings anymore.
Trex Decking and Invisi-Fast Hidden Deck Fasteners
Well... since the joists were all in place that meant that we could actually start on the Trex decking boards. After Andrew cut the first board it was demo time. Instead of the traditional way of screwing the deck boards from the top, we decided to go with Invisi-Fast Angle hidden deck fasteners for the main deck. They are made specifically for installing decking on angles.
They're made from the same material that safety goggles are made from.... and are supposedly virtually indestructible. They seemed like an easy installation process, from their website www.invisifast.com, which is one of the reasons I chose them. (And they are Made in the USA, which is a plus). You just screw in the fastener to the joist, then screw 2 screws in from below, into the Trex board. The fasteners even come with a handy-dandy spacer as a part of the piece. The spacer is 1/4" wide and is the distance the Trex boards needs for expansion.
I started installing the first Trex board with the fasteners to give a demo about how they worked. It was just as simple of a process as the website stated. Mom helped me with the rest of the first board and next 2 boards, before calling it a day. I really liked the system. It was a small learning curve and it seemed to really hold the boards very securely.