DECKING FAQS

Can I apply polyurethane to my Perennial Wood?
There is no need to apply any type of protective coating to Perennial Wood decking. As with all materials, years of sun exposure will slowly fade the finish. If homeowners prefer to freshen up the finish for aesthetic reasons, Perennial Wood decking can be refreshed with a mild, pH-neutral cleaner, re-stained the same color, or recolored by stripping off the old stain and applying new.

Do my deck plans need approval before I begin?
It is recommended that the deck design be prepared or approved by an engineer or architect, as well as your local jurisdiction's building inspection official. Always obtain required permits prior to construction.

Are there structural support requirements for building a deck?
Structural support requirements are the same whether you are constructing an entirely new deck or are resurfacing an existing structure with Perennial Wood decking. The substructure must be constructed to adequately support the required loads. In some cases, local snow loads may govern substructure requirements. Always consult your local building codes.

Where can I get more information about deck construction rules and regulations?
Specifications for deck construction can be obtained from your local jurisdiction's building inspection official, and in the DCA-6 Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide. DCA-6 refers to the American Wood Council's Design for Code Acceptance 6 – also referred to as the "Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide, Based on the 2009 International Residential Code." You can find this guide at www.awc.org.

What do I need to know about deck substructures?
The deck substructure must be constructed of preservative-treated lumber rated for exterior use or the heartwood of an approved, naturally decay-resistant wood species. The flashing, fasteners, connectors and hanger hardware for the substructure must be made of corrosion resistant metals, such as hot-dipped, galvanized or stainless steel. Because Perennial Wood is lighter than most composites and is code-approved for use on 24" centers, you can purchase less substructure material. Always consult your local building codes.

What tools should I use to install Perennial Wood Decking?
Perennial Wood looks, acts and works like real wood, because it is real wood. It requires no specialized equipment and can be installed using common woodworking tools and stainless steel screws, nails and hidden fasteners readily available at most home centers.

How much space should I leave between my deck boards?
Because Perennial Wood decking resists effects of moisture such as shrinking and swelling, deck boards will remain where they are placed. Gapping caused by movement will be minimal, even at mitered corners. We recommend leaving a small gap between boards to allow water to drain from the surface.

What do I need to know about guardrail post-to-joint/rim joist installation?
Guardrail posts must be attached to the joists by using appropriate stainless steel connectors and fasteners. The Simpson Strong-Tie® DTT2SS is one recommended connector. Always follow the connector manufacturer's guidelines for proper installation. Properly installing post-to-joist connectors provides guardrail post attachment strong enough to meet the code requirements stated in DCA-6 Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide. DCA-6 refers to the American Wood Council's Design for Code Acceptance 6 – also referred to as the "Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide, Based on the 2009 International Residential Code." You can find this guide at www.awc.org.

What other general recommendations do you offer for installing decking?
To maximize the safety, appearance and performance of your decking, use the correct stainless steel fasteners and connector hardware and properly attach the deck boards to the substructure. Consider using hidden fasteners for a clean, professional look. We recommend using stainless steel fasteners and screws. The end of each deck board must be adequately supported by a joist. Flashing that comes into contact with Perennial Wood must be non-corrosive material, such as stainless steel or non-metallic material. Always consult your local building codes for additional installation requirements.

Are there any differences in the installation of Perennial Wood decking and regular wood decking?
Because Perennial Wood decking is real wood modified to endure, it can be installed in the same manner as standard wood decking. Visit the installation guide for step-by-step instructions.

What type of fasteners should I use?
Use stainless steel fasteners and screws with Perennial Wood. Fasteners used in coastal regions must be 316 stainless steel. Two fastening methods can be used: hidden fasteners or screws, or nails through the wide face of the deck board.