8 Best Materials and Contractor Tools to Upgrade Your Deck

By Zach

Everyone dreams of having a luxury deck where they can enjoy long summer nights with family and friends.

In fact, when you picture a luxury deck, the first things you think of are probably a firepit, outdoor kitchen, grill, hot tub, comfortable deck chairs, and maybe even a tv. However, to achieve that level of luxury, you need the right equipment and contractor tools to keep your deck sturdy and durable. 

If you are building your deck yourself or doing maintenance to upgrade your pre-existing deck, there are some tools that can make the job much easier. Plus, you want the best high-quality tools and equipment so that your deck stands the test of time and provides years’ worth of memories in your backyard oasis. 

Your dream deck is within reach when you have these top tier contractor tools to get the job done. Let’s go over eight of our favorite tools and materials  that every do-it-yourself craftsman and professional contractor needs to build a beautiful luxury deck. 

1. Joist Tape

Joist tape along a wooden frame of a wheel

Trex Protect Joist and Beam tape will protect your deck’s structure so it lasts a long time. It helps keep the ledger board, rim joist, and the top of the joist from developing wood rot and decay. 

This tape is butyl-based, which holds better than acrylic or asphalt-based tape.  

Why do you need joist tape for your deck? Along with preventing rot and decay, it acts as a barrier between the wood and metal on your deck, and it helps prevent moisture from penetrating your deck fasteners. 

If you live somewhere that freezes, joist tape will also eliminate splitting. Trex Protect joist tape has a 20-year warranty, which makes it a no-brainer. It also comes in different sizes depending on the size of your beams, and the three-step installation process is quick and simple.

2. Trex Universal Hidden Deck Fastener

This is another Trex product that is a must-have to elevate the quality and design of your deck. Hidden deck fasteners hold your boards in place without puncturing them, and you don’t see screws all throughout your deck. 

Not only is this a high-quality product, but it provides a sleek and seamless look to your deck. Since the fastener is universal, it provides consistent spacing between the boards for a precise and flawless look.   

While the universal fastener is all you truly need for installation, the hidden fastener system comes with a couple of parts that can make it easier for you, including:

  • Installation tool
  • The start clip
  • Groove cutter (I would recommend getting grooved boards instead of using this)
  • Trex blade (see item #4 on our list for more details here)

It works by fastening between the deck boards to the joists. It is hidden from the walking surface, so you won’t even know they’re there. If you don’t like the look of screws all over your deck, this is the new solution you want.  

3. Deck-Drive Composite Color Matching Screws

Not all areas of your deck can be fastened with hidden fasteners such as steps and accent boards if you choose them. For the areas where you need to use screws, you want them to blend into your deck instead of standing out. The Deck-Drive composite screws are perfect for blending in because it comes in 11 colors that match most major deck manufacturers. 

They are made of carbon steel and coated with Quick Guard coating to resist corrosion. They come in multiple sizes for a variety of deck boards and cladding, and they can fasten composite decking, PVC, trim to wood framing, and cladding. 

Don’t let mismatched screws mess up the look of your luxury deck. Color match with Deck-Drive so your deck still looks sleek and seamless.

4. Diablo Saw Blades for Composite Materials

Whether you are doing wood or composite, you will likely be doing a lot of cutting. You will want a saw blade that holds up for more cuts without getting dull so each cut is precise and doesn’t damage your boards or leave them looking less than ideal, especially with composites.

So when it comes to high quality contractor tools and blades that will hold up and cut well, choose Diablo saw blades for composite materials. They are specially formulated to maximize cutting life for composite and plastic materials.

You don’t have to worry about melting because the modified triple chip grind keeps the surface cool while you cut. Additionally, you can achieve great quality cuts because the laser cut stabilizer vents keep the blade straight. Say goodbye to swirl marks!

This contractor tool is the only blade recommended by the Trex company, and it’s favored by DIYers and professionals alike

Let Us Help with Your Outdoor Living Project

A Deck Above is the area’s premier builder of decks and a wide variety of structures to maximize your enjoyment of outdoor living. 

5. Dewalt Impact Drill

Everyone needs a high-powered drill, and this one is our top choice. It’s a 20-Volt Max that operates at three speeds, so you can use it for a variety of jobs. It’s perfect for deck building and maintenance because you can drive in multiple types of screws and get more work done in less time.

The compact and brushless motor will last for the long haul, and the lithium-ion batteries guarantee a great job done every time with less time charging. Another great thing about this drill is that it’s lightweight and ideal for tight spaces, so if you ever need to crawl under your deck for repairs, it will work perfectly. 

A drill is a contractor tool you can use on all types of jobs and projects around your home, so it’s worth investing in one that’s high-quality, effective, and easy to use like the Dewalt impact drill. 

6. Simpson Heavy Duty Joist Hangers

You want your deck to stand the test of time and stand up against inclement weather, so you need heavy duty joist hangers. The job of a joist hanger is to support the joist and connect the beams. They add strength and durability to your deck, so they should not be looked over. 

This joist hanger option from Simpson Strong Tie offers the strongest and longest lasting frame connection. The double shear distributes the load through two points on each nail, which gives it more strength so you never have to worry about it. 

7. Bostitch Strapshot Metal Connector Nailer

Once you have top-tier joist hangers, you need a great joist hanger nailer to finish the job. This Strapshop Metal Connecter Nailer from Bostitch is our pick because it’s precise, easy to use, and lightweight. 

It works quickly and still provides the durability and strength that you want to connect your joist hangers. Plus, it has an exclusive safety system that prevents misfires, keeping you safe and allowing you to hit the nail on the head every time.

The lightweight design makes it easy to get a lot of work done without exhausting yourself, and it’s ideal for tight spaces. If you’re ready to add durability and sturdiness to your deck with new joist hangers, this nailer will come in handy time and time again. 

8. Quik Drive Pro Decking System

This tool from Simpson Strong Tie is a must-have for any wood decking. It can quickly and effectively install your wood boards to save you time and energy. Thanks to the decking nose grip, you can stay standing the whole time to use it instead of bending over for hours.

The nose grip works by centering the screw on the joist for precise and easy installation. Positioning the tool is also extremely simple because it has patented curve collation strips that hold the screws up and away from the work surface. 

Like we said, it’s a must-have for wood decking. However, it works with composite decking too, as well as several other material types. You’ll get a lot of use out of this tool, and you’ll love how much work it does for you so you don’t have to wear yourself out. 

Choosing the Best Contractor Tools

The contractor tools we listed above are our personal favorites for building and maintaining a high-quality deck, but it’s far from an extensive list. These days there are tons of new gadgets coming out every year that can make your life easier.

So how do you choose the best professional tools if you aren’t actually a professional? We recommend sticking to the trusted brands we shared here, along with reading online reviews so you can learn from other customer’s experiences. 

Also, keep in mind that bulkier tools don’t equal more professional. In fact, the lighter weight the better. Compact tools make your job easier and require less energy since they aren’t heavy or hard to maneuver in tight spaces. 

Take Your Deck to the Next Level

You can achieve your dream deck with the right contractor tools and equipment. Plus, when your deck is sturdy and strong, you can enjoy countless days and nights outdoors without worry about durability.

If you are still looking for design ideas or inspiration, check out our blog post with inspiration on custom deck designs to give you some ideas on how you can make your deck unique to your space, or give you a few creative ideas you can borrow. 

And If you’re looking to put in a new deck in Charlotte, North Carolina, A Deck Above can do the hard work for you. We are the premier deck builders in the Charlotte area, and we can build a deck for any budget. 

We’ve been serving Charlotte for over 30 years and are passionate about making homeowners’ dreams come true. We build both composite and PVC decks and wood decks, so you can choose what works best for your home. 

Get started with your dream deck today. Contact us with inquiries here and request a free estimate. 

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