Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Deck - Level 2 (Left) & Hidden Deck Fasteners

Wednesday, September 3

Last night we had installed the first Trex board onto the lower left deck. We had gotten frustrated while using the Aphano Fasteners and called it a night. Today I wanted to give the Aphano Fasteners another go.

I installed 2 more Trex deck boards with the Aphano Fasteners. After the 3rd board was down, and numerous swear words had been used, I decided to get Tim and my Dad's opinion.

Here's the things that I was unhappy with... the whole process of having to screw the fastener to the bottom of the decking board, flip it over, then screw it into the joist. This made for no give if things weren't lining up or if your pencil line was off. There was a bounce to it that wasn't thrilled about too. I understand that composite board has some give, after all, it is a plastic material, but this bounce was disconcerting.... like it wasn't fastened down enough. I even had put the (optional) 2nd screw in the fastener, and the boards still had a huge amount of give to it. I dono.... maybe it's me, but I want my deck to feel solid.
From Deck

Tim and my Dad had the same opinion that I had too. My Dad immediately knew after walked on both decks, just as I had, which system to go with. And thus.... we decided to return the Aphano Fasteners.

We had gone online right after my Dad left and bought an Invisi-Fast kit for straight decking and accessory clips that will make the system easier to install, if we can't get underneath. We ordered the kits tonight and hopefully they'll come in by next week.


Jeff said...

Kristin, We are the manufacturers and distributors of the Aphano Hidden Deck Fastener. I would like to take the opportunity to respond to your comments on our fasteners.
We appreciate your trying them and we are sorry that you did not find them adequate. The vast majority of our customers (both homeowners and contractors) find the Aphano fasteners superior to other hidden fasteners. But obviously not every one does. There is no such thing as a perfect product and ours in no exception.

I would like to address some of the issues you brought up.

Our fasteners are designed to be attached first to the deckboard and then to the joist. This allows them to be installed from above the deck and remain a truly hidden fastener. The fasteners will line up in the proper place every time if the deckboard is pressed tightly against the previous board before marking. This procedure does not take much time and is critical to the proper placement of the fasteners. It will dramatically speed up the installation. This procedure is clearly stated in the instructions.

I agree that no one wants their deck to have a spongy feel. The Aphano was designed to take advantage of the properties of decking that contains plastic - composite, PVC and 100% plastic decking. This type of decking is extremely heavy and flexible. It will always lay flat on the joists. If this type of decking is installed properly with Aphano fasteners it will feel as solid as when using screws. (In cold weather it can take some time for the decking to conform to the substructure.)

Unfortunately, we have found, through trial and error, that if the deck boards are not physically touching the joists before attaching the front tab of the fasteners to the joists the fasteners themselves can actually hold the deck board up away from the joists. This does result in a spongy feel and is not acceptable to us or our customers. We did not know this could happen until a deck was installed in this manner. We have inspected many local decks built with our fasteners and, except in this rare instance, the decks are solid and secure. We have since altered our instructions to emphasize this very important part of the installation. Simply step on the deckboard while attaching the front tab to the joist with one screw at a downward angle. We apologize for not having discovered this potential problem sooner. (Using extra screws will have no effect on the fasteners holding power and will only take more time.)

We do hope that you found our customer service and easy return policy up to your expectations. We try our best to satsify every customer every time.

If you have any questions or comments for us please feel free to write or call.
Mild Fence Company

Kristin said...

Thanks Jeff for leaving a comment on by blog.

I feel it's important to have the company's view pt on here as I am just one person... one opinion.

What doesn't work for me, may work well for another person/personality.
We had gone with what suited to what we needed/wanted.

Your product was of good quality and your company had good customer service.