5 Tips for Easy Composite Deck Installation | ChoiceDek Blog

5 Tips for Easy Composite Deck Installation

Deck installation can be an intimidating process, especially for a first time deck builder. Whether you’re a professional deck contractor or homeowner looking to tackle a DIY deck, learn how to install composite decking with some helpful tips to keep in mind throughout the deck installation process.

 Leaves on composite deck with railing

  1. Know the Codes

For your safety, you should always ensure your deck design meets local building codes. A few codes regarding deck installation are below, but for a full list – take a trip to your local building department where they will review your deck plans and issue a building permit.

  • Sufficient set-back distances from your neighbors’ property

  • Residential/Multi-family handrail heights are generally required to be 36” to 42”, respectively.

  • Balusters spaced closely enough to prevent small children from squeezing through

    • Baluster maximum spacing is generally 4-inches (clear distance between balusters)

  • Adequate structural support for the weight of the deck, people on it, furniture, hot tubs, etc.

 tools hanging in garage

  1. Have the Correct Tools On-Hand

Be prepared! Make sure you have the tools you need to get the job done to install your composite deck correctly.

What you’ll need:

  • Hammer

  • Screw gun

  • Chalk line – TIP! Manufacturer recommends blue chalk. DO NOT USE RED or other colored chalk because it may temporarily stain the deck.

  • Rasp

  • Measuring tape

  • Level

  • Circular saw with carbide-tipped blade (fewer than 20 teeth is recommended)

  1. Follow the Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Manufacturers often provide deck installation guidelines so you can ensure you don’t void the product warranty during construction. ChoiceDek provides a guideline for installing composite decking here, which walks deck contractors and homeowners through the deck building process.

Composite Deck Post Cap

  1. Choose the Correct Fastener System

Which fastening system works best for your composite deck? Check out the tips below when considering your deck fastener options.

  • Traditional Fasteners – we recommend using #7, 2 1/4-inch stainless steel trim head screws for the decking and railing. TIP!– using a 2-inch driver bit allows you to better gauge screw depth. Tap hole with edge of hammer for best results.

  • Hidden Fasteners – ChoiceDek is compatible with most hidden fastener systems. For best compatibility we recommend the Mantis 396 Hidden Deck Fastener. However, as with all fasteners, please consult the installation instructions provided by the hidden fastener manufacturer or contact our customer service department at 1.800.951.5117.

  1. Consult an Expert

If you’re a DIYer in need of additional help, take advantage of the experience and knowledge of the deck building professionals in your community. Deck professionals will be able to provide tips and insights into increasing the efficiency and quality of your composite deck installation.

Don’t know where to look? Lowe’s offers a wide-range of professional deck installers across the U.S. and Canada. Locate a deck contractor here, or call ChoiceDek’s customer service line to get your composite deck installation questions answered: 1.800.951.5117.


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