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Welcome to Deck Safety Month

May 01, 2019 | Posted in Messages and News By Jamie B.

Add secondary handrails to your stairways for extra safety and security for family, friends, and guests

How to Check and Inspect Your Deck

Keeping Your Outdoor Space Safe

May 1st marks the beginning of Deck Safety month, and everyone here at DecksDirect couldn't be happier about helping our customers create a gorgeous, long-lasting outdoor living space that will stay safe for family and friends for decades to come. No matter the materials you choose, our favorite outdoor entertaining areas go through a lot year to year. From direct exposure to the weather, increased weight loads from neighborhood parties, chemicals, and pests; our decks withstand a lot to give us enjoyment.

Here's a list of helpful areas to inspect as well as some tips and frequently asked questions on how to maintain a strong and secure deck that everyone will love.

Areas to Check Out


Walking around your deck and inspecting your different hardware pieces can help prevent any accidents later on

Along the Outside Perimeter

  • Take a leisurely stroll around your deck
  • Check and lightly shake all deck footings to ensure they're still securely in place
  • Looking at your support posts, ensure there's no cracks or splinters
  • If no fascia is installed on your deck, inspect the hardware connecting the beams to the support posts
  • Review your staircase parts and hardware - stair stringers should be attached to the deck joist with a structural hanger or bracket. If the stair stringer is simply toe-nailed to the deck, consider replacing the hardware for something stronger such as one from OZCO.


Check under your deck boards for any rot, mildew, or mold yearly

Under the Deck

  • If your deck was built with natural, non-treated lumber; inspect deck boards closely for damage from pests and bugs
  • Verify that the ledger board to rim joist connection remains solid and unmovable
  • Decks made from non-composite or PVC decking should be checked yearly for wood rot, mold, and mildew growth
  • Check for any cracks in your wood boards, tiny cracks are common but can expand with the weather; protect against this by staining your boards to seal the crack
  • Check the flashing along the ledger board and joists, if you spot any holes or rust, repair or replace as needed
  • Inspect your joists and beam hardware for rust, to replace, put in a temporary support while removing the old components


Take some time to observe any changes or weaknesses in your outdoor structure

Safety on Deck

  • When walking across your deck, listen and feel for any pops, creaks, or unusual give from your boards
  • Clean away all leaves, dirt, and debris from your deck surface with a hose or pressure-washer
  • Inspect each deck board for rising nails or loose fasteners; replace as needed
  • For non-composite decking: stain, seal, or treat your deck boards annually
  • Walk along the edge of your deck, testing and checking your railing for loose posts or handrails
  • Consider the landscaping and trees surrounding your deck, ensure it's clear from the deck


Want More Info?

Check out the Deck Consumer Checklist and the Deck Evaluation Checklist both supplied from NADRA; the North American Deck and Railing Association. NADRA is a professional group aiming to be the number one source for the professional development, promotion, growth, and sustenance of the Deck and Railing building Industry throughout North America. From deck design, to the best safety tips and products, NADRA wants to help everyone love their outdoor living space and help it last!

Deck Safety Questions

What if there is rot in my wood decking?

  • Use an awl, ice pick, or screwdriver to investigate around support posts, railing posts, joists, and stair stringers. Smaller sections, roughly thumb-size, of rot or mold can be removed with a chisel and then be treated with a wood preservative to prevent spreading. Areas larger than this will typically require the wood component to be removed and replaced for safety.
  • What do I do about a loose deck board fastener?

  • Use a drill to tighten any loose screws or fasteners closer to the joist. If any of the fasteners are rusted or corroded, replace the fasteners immediately before the deterioration spreads to the surrounding wood.
  • I'm noticing water pooling around my ledgerboard or joists. What do I do?

  • Replace or add more flashing and butyl tape to these areas to prevent water from continuing to permeate through the old flashing and reaching the substructure.
  • How can I make my deck more safe for family and guests?

  • Replacing old, wooden railing with a new, stronger Metal Railing system can help prevent falls along the perimeter. Adding a Secondary Handrail to your staircase can increase graspability for safe movement in steeper areas.

    Protect your investment, and keep your outdoor living space in tip-top shape for a longer life with help from DecksDirect. From planning and designing, to installation and upkeep; we're here to make sure that the deck of your dreams can last you a lifetime. Get started on your outdoor project planning today! Give our deck designers a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at to start laying out the look you want.

  • Comments

    The DuraLife Step-Clip Hidden Fastening system is the easiest and fastest way to get composite decking installed securely without breaking your back


    How to Install Composite Decking Fast and Easy

    with the all-new Step-Clip Hidden Fastening System by DuraLife

    With Composite Decking quickly becoming the top choice for new deck construction and outdoor renovations alike, the market for Hidden Deck Fasteners keeps improving upon itself year after year. Long gone are the days of face-fastening down your boards and hoping none of the nails rise up over time. These days, whether you're using concealed clips for grooved boards, such as CONCEALoc for TimberTech, or a strong, discreet side-installed nail such as the beloved Camo Hidden Fasteners, the main goal is to keep your deck surface smooth and blemish-free.

    There are an abundance of Hidden Deck Fastening systems to choose from, all with their own pros and cons. This year, however, DecksDirect was introduced to a deck fastening system that was equally brilliant and simple; an invention that makes you think, "How did this not exist before?"

    The Step-Clip Hidden Fastening System by DuraLife Decking cuts installation time in half while eliminating the need for extra measuring, kneeling, and tools. Spend more time enjoying your deck and less time breaking your back to install it with DuraLife. A brilliant choice for both homeowners and contractors alike, the Step-Clip system helps you get the job done right and done fast.

    Simply hammer or use a nail-gun to attach the Step-Clip Strips by DuraLife directly to joists

    Step 1: Use a standard hammer or nail-gun and attach the Step-Clip strips directly to the joists of your deck's substructure. This strip will be attached using the included stainless steel nails for heightened corrosion-resistance. It's recommended to drive 2 nails evenly spaced between the clips for a sturdy hold. These Step-Clip strips eliminate the extra cost of joist tape by protecting the joist itself from water damage, rot, and decay. Along the outside perimeter of the deck frame, trim the first clip off of the strip with a utility knife.

    The Step-Clip Hidden Fastening System by DuraLife Decking allows you to simply walk across the composite deck board to install

    Step 2: Place your DuraLife Starter Board in place and walk across, locking the grooved edge of the board securely into the clip. From there, place your next DuraLife Grooved Edge Deck Board in position, and walk across the board length-wise to fasten it in place. Continue working this way until all deck boards are fully secured.

    Working with more than one person? Start at both ends of the deck to save even more time.

    Cut down composite decking installation time by 50% with DuraLife Decking and the Step-Clip Fastening System

    Step 3: With your DuraLife Deck Boards installed, polish off your Starter Boards with the perfectly coordinating Cortex Concealed Fastening System for DuraLife Decking. A color-matching plug system that conceals the stainless steel screws needed to securely fasten your initial boards.


    Check out the speed difference between installing DuraLife Decking with the Step-Clip Hidden Fastening System versus installing a leading competitor brand.


    If at any point in your project you have any questions, feel free to give our deck experts a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at


    Discover the Step-Clip System


    Deck of the Month: April 2019

    Apr 17, 2019 | Posted in Deck of the Month By Jamie B.

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    This older, wooden railing had started to look a bit run-down from years of exposure to the elements.
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    Deck of the Month Winner for April

    Starting Spring Off Strong with a Deck Revival!

    Everyone here at DecksDirect wants to say a warm congratulations to Simon of Coastal Living Builders in South Carolina for his beautiful deck renovation! One of the quickest ways to breathe new life into a tired outdoor space is to switch up an outdated wood railing for the contemporary low-maintenance look of a powder-coated aluminum system. Simon and his client chose the gorgeous Westbury Riviera railing system to complement the varying levels and angles of the home.

    Simon chose the extraordinary look of the Westbury Riviera III, with a mid-rail piece that connects to the top rail on every third baluster for a unique style that draws attention without being overpowering. One of the most wonderful things about the Westbury Riviera line is they offer 6 different railing profiles to achieve the exact look you want for your outdoor space. From a simple, graspable top rail to the decadent look of ringed Riviera R; find the style you love and make the most of your backyard. The Westbury Riviera line offers 6 different railing profiles to help complete the look you want for your space

    With this new railing installed, the homeowner will be saving his or her valuable time and money as the Westbury Riviera system is virtually maintenance-free. No more staining, sanding, or painting; now this space is for pure relaxation and enjoyment.

    Congrats again, Simon from Coastal Living Builders in South Carolina on creating a killer new deck! Some DecksDirect swag is heading your way!

    Check Out Westbury Riviera Today

    If you have a photo you would like to submit to our contest, simply post a photo to Instagram including the hashtag #DecksDirect OR submit a photo with a review on the appropriate product page. You can also send your project photos to By doing so, you will be entered to win great prizes from our Deck of the Month Contest!


    DecksDirect Pro Tip: Dekor Lighted Balusters

    Apr 15, 2019 | Posted in How-to Tips By Jamie B.

    Dekor Single Basket Baluster with Light and Double Basket Baluster with Lights installed beautifully on a hardwood deck add a delicate touch of light throughout the night


    How to Install Dekor Balusters with Lights

    Add Amazing Light to Your Regular Railing

    Dekor balusters are handcrafted from superior-grade aluminum, incredibly durable powder-coating, and the highest-quality LED lights available on the market. A contemporary and modern way to add illumination, personality and charm to your outdoor space all in one. Whether sprinkling a few throughout each section, or intertwining them with the classic look of standard Dekor balusters; Dekor balusters with lights are a unique way to increase the safety around your home and catch the attention of your neighbors and friends.

    DecksDirect Pro Tip: Installing and incorporating Dekor Balusters with Lights into your railing system is best to be done either with new construction, or when doing a complete remodeling of railing. Each lighted baluster must be individually wired to the transformer. Installing these balusters once your railing is already finished will lead to a headache of taking everything apart and finding new ways to conceal the wire.


    While an extremely elegant and gorgeous way to add brightness to your outdoor space, knowing when and how to layout the wiring for these balusters is crucial a beautiful setup. Check out the videos below to see the best methods of hiding low voltage wires within your railing as well as how to layout a lighting plan so that your deck may be efficient and enviable at the same time.


    If at any point in your project you have any questions, feel free to give our deck experts a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at


    Discover Dekor Lit Balusters


    The Starborn Pro Plug System for Metal Framing allows you to attach composite, PVC and hardwood decking to steel and aluminum metal framing


    Starborn Pro Plug System for Metal Framing

    Build Your Deck Ahead of the Curve

    One of the fastest growing deck trends of 2019 is building with metal framing systems such as Trex Elevations or Fortress Evolution systems. Creating a solid, immovable, and rot-free foundation for your deck ensures it will be incredibly long-lasting and guarantees a solid return on your home investment. As framing and decking systems are becoming more versatile, so is the hardware used to build it.

    The Pro Plug System for Metal Framing by Starborn securely attaches your deck boards directly to your metal joists.

    An incredible way to blend the strength of face-fastening with the sleek look of hidden fasteners, the Starborn Pro Plug system for Metal Framing was made to help securely attach deck boards directly to your metal joists. Crafted from the highest 410 grade stainless steel and then powder-coated for even more corrosion-resistance and strength; Starborn has made deck-building easy. No need for pre-drilling, simply use the SMART-BIT Depth Setter tool to create a consistent depth throughout. Then after fastening the deck board down, simply place your coordinating Pro Plugs in the opening above each screw for a smooth deck surface.


    DECKFAST Deck Screws for Metal Framing are a perfect piece to complete and polish your deck surface all in one

    A brilliant one-piece solution for strongly installing your composite or hardwood deck boards, DECKFAST Deck Screws for Metal Framing are both cost-effective and efficient. Made from 410 grade stainless steel and powder-coated to perfectly blend with the wide majority of composite and hardwood colors and tones. No pre-drilling required, this fantastic screw features a drill point with wings to prevent dimpling or mushrooming of boards.




    If at any point in your project you have any questions, feel free to give our deck experts a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at


    Shop Metal Framing Screws


    DecksDirect Pro Tip: Solar You Can Charge

    Apr 01, 2019 | Posted in How-to Tips By Jamie B.

    Stainless steel post anchor with hardware is a convenient way to connect your wooden posts directly to your deck surface


    For the Perfect Light Every Time

    use the all-new Savvy Solar Post Cap Light

    Add intelligent illumination and superior design to your deck with the groundbreaking Savvy Solar Post Cap by Dekor; blending the top-tier quality you know from Dekor low voltage lighting with cutting-edge solar technology. Bring your outdoor living space into a brighter, more sustainable future as this post cap helps lighten your home's electricity use through the power of the sun and is crafted from completely recycled aluminum. Skip the hassle of wiring and powering every section of your deck and harness the power of the sun with the all-new Savvy Solar Post Cap; American-made by Dekor.

    To ensure a consistent, lasting shine everyday Dekor equipped the Savvy Solar Cap Lights with smart charging indicators to help you control and maintain the brightness level you want. Select your radiance level and lighting schedule and the smart solar technology can calculate if your cap has received enough solar energy to remain lighted according to your settings. If your solar cell hasn't received enough sunlight, the cap will blink several times to show an inadequate energy level before remaining on as long as it can.

    Worried about not gaining enough light on the occasional cloudy day? No problem! The Savvy Solar Cap can easily be charged through an external power source on days where the sunlight is low. Simply lift off your post cap, connect it to your Dekor LED DC Transformer with the EZ Quick Connect Wire (included with transformer) and let it charge via a standard outlet. After a few hours, your Savvy Solar Post Cap will be bright enough to shine on through even the most overcast days.    

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    If at any point in your project you have any questions, feel free to give our deck experts a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at


    Shop Savvy Solar Post Cap Lights


    Product Spotlight: Dekor Perfect Panels

    Apr 01, 2019 | Posted in Product Spotlights By Jamie B.

    Dekor Perfect Panels are the ultimate railing accessory to add to your home in 2019; choose from standard or illuminated panels to give your backyard a downtown feel

    Give Your Backyard a Downtown Feel

    with Perfect Panels by Dekor

    Create the distinctive look your outdoor space was made for with Perfect Panels from Dekor. For an outstanding look, directly from the box, Perfect Panels by Dekor add a dash of design to your standard railing sections easily. Choose from lighted or non-lighted Panels in coordinating Dekor premium powder-coat finishes to make your home the envy of the neighborhood.

    These cast aluminum panels are a full 1/2 inch thick and 7-1/2 inches wide for a stunning look that also provides incredible strength. All end caps and installation hardware is included to ensure that adding a touch of glamour to your outdoor living area doesn't take hours of your time. Proudly made in the USA, Dekor crafts these decorative panels with aerospace grade aluminum for beauty that truly lasts.

    Whether installing the Dekor Perfect Panels only, or between the matching Dekor Balusters, Perfect Panels are offered in Antique Metal Black, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Dark Copper Vein, and Hammered White to either complete your railing section or give a detailed pop of color.


    Choose the Look for You


    Dekor Perfect Panel

    • American Made
    • Cast and powder-coated aluminum for lasting strength
    • End caps and all installation hardware included
    • Offered in of Antique Metal Black, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Dark Copper Vein, and Hammered White






    Dekor Perfect Panel with Lights

    • Proudly American Made
    • Features Cree LEDs for lasting light
    • End caps and installation hardware included
    • Lights are a precise 3200 Kelvin for the perfect balance of warm and cool temperature
    • Offered in of Antique Metal Black, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Dark Copper Vein, and Hammered White



    Creating the deck vision you've been dreaming of for years has never been easier than with Balusters and Perfect Panels from Dekor. Get started on your outdoor project planning today! Give our deck designers a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at to start laying out the look you want.


    UpSide Deck Ceiling by Color Guard creates a beautiful, finished ceiling on your lower level patio area easily.


    UpSide Deck Ceiling

    Installation Tips for a Smooth Project

    The ever-growing deck trend of 2019 is expanding the usable space in your home with versatile under deck drainage system such as the UpSide Deck Ceiling. Perfect for both new construction and adding to existing decks, UpSide Deck Ceiling features a beadboard design on their channels to provide a flawless look and style above while keeping your guests dry below.

    Below is a photo of the UpSide Deck Ceiling system during installation to better show how easy the parts come together to deliver a great water-diverting system:

    See how easy it is to install the UpSide Deck Ceiling system on your home with this piece by piece breakdown

    The Edge Trim and C-Channel create the perimeter of your project by simply mounting directly to your structure. Starter Strips are installed perpendicular to the joists and are attached using Quick Install Tracks for UpSide. On the Starter Strips, Glide Clips are mounted to hold the water-diverting Channels in place for a dry, outdoor living room below.


    UpSide Deck Ceiling QIT eliminates the need for individual brackets for a quicker and easier installation process

    DecksDirect Pro Tip: Set the pitch for and install your first and last UpSide QITs, then run a level or string across your space for a fast way to keep your slope accurate throughout your lower level.


    The top side of the UpSide Edge Trim has a single leg with slot openings

    DecksDirect Pro Tip: When mounting the UpSide Edge Trim component, a helfpul note to keep in mind is that the top side of the Edge Trim features the one single leg with openings for attaching to the structure.

    The UpSide Deck Ceiling System a perfect afternoon or weekend project for any builder level. From DIY-er to professional contractor, the UpSide drainage system will help your home grow along with your family. Check out the video below to see how simple it is to gain an entirely new room:


    If at any point in your project you have any questions, feel free to give our deck experts a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at


    Discover UpSide Deck Ceiling


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