Why You Must Pre-drill Hardwood Decking


Predrilling your decking is important to ensure that it is installed properly and safely.
Predrilling hardwoods is important to ensure that it is installed properly and safely.

When it comes to the installation of your hardwood decking, predrilling is a must. We don’t just say this because we like to tell you what to do; it needs to be done to correctly install your decking.

Now, you may be wondering why we stress the importance of predrilling before you fasten your decking. Let’s put it this way, how would you like to see your brand new deck with splits and cracks around every single screw? Or what would you do if a screw broke off in the middle of driving it in? Yeah, that wouldn’t be an ideal situation to deal with.

Before you install any hardware, determine the size of the screws you’re going to use. Find the appropriate sized drill bit, and predrill a hole. Once the hole is predrilled, then it is okay to install the fasteners.

Failure to predrill can result in the screws splitting and cracking the board. When there are splits around the screw, it is not holding the board tight like it is supposed to. Over time this can cause the board to loosen and create a dangerous surface.

Screws also have the potential to break off inside the board if you don’t predrill. This can cause irreversible damage to the board, causing you to spend more money on materials.

Also, whatever you do, do not rely on nails to hold your deck together. These are extremely unsafe and could cause a deck collapse in the future.

Predrilling may seem like an unnecessary step in the installation process, but it really is important to ensure that your fasteners are installed properly. Failure to skip this step can cost you more in materials, and even create a dangerous deck.

2 thoughts on “Why You Must Pre-drill Hardwood Decking”

  1. Hi Paige,

    It all depends on the contractor. Typically Ipe or other Brazilian hardwoods are more labor intensive (including the pre-drilling) which raises the price of the job.

    Thanks for your questions!

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