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Steel Framing Connectors

Your Guide to Steel Framing Connectors for Decks

News & Media

February 15, 2024


Building a professional grade deck starts with making the right connections. For long-lasting framing that’s also easy on your wallet, The Deck Supply recommends galvanized steel framing connectors.

In our brief guide, we’ll show you why the right connections are crucial for the life of your deck, and how to make them! Alongside our guide, our dexperts break down every necessary component to make the right connections for your frame. For a deck built for the long haul, dig into this helpful guide!

Considerations for Strong Connections

Before we dig into the form and function of our steel framing connectors, we feel it is important to discuss the design of your deck. At The Deck Supply, our dexperts walk every customer through these considerations as we help build a list of necessary components.


If your new deck replaces an old one, you’ll need to understand how the existing deck is attached to the structure or home. If we’re starting from scratch, we’ll discuss your desired design and make suggestions for the right connections throughout.


Because our designs are built for the long haul, we always recommend galvanized steel framing connectors for maximum corrosion resistance. To ensure your deck sticks around for the next generation, we’ll discuss your options throughout the design.


Ensuring your deck can stand up to the elements will keep it sturdy for another generation. We factor in elements like wind, moisture, and seismic activity to determine the right connectors for your deck.

Width, depth, and height.

To understand how strong your deck needs to be, we’ll need to know how high, and how far away from the structure your deck will be. Decks near the ground need to ventilate the space underneath to mitigate corrosion. Decks up high need to be properly braced, and posts will need strong support to withstand load ratings and be placed deep enough to avoid effects caused by ground freeze and wind.

Now that you understand the important considerations that help us design the next generation of decks, let’s dig into the intricacies of framing your deck.

From the base and beams to stringers and joists, The Deck Supply carries everything you need to build strong, lasting connections. As you read, feel free to jump to our recommended products with each bolded product category.

Starting With the Base-ics

First things first, you’ll need to build a strong foundation for your deck. While your dad may have built his by sinking some posts into concrete and calling it a day, the next generation of decks deserves better. Whether you’re building a deck on existing concrete or casting in place for new concrete you’ll need a steel framing connector called a post base to build a solid base.

ABW Post Base

To build your base to code, we recommend a 1-inch standoff for treated and untreated wood posts. This measure prevents moisture from compromising your connections. For contractors and DIYers alike, we always recommend checking the seismic and wind requirements for your area. Additional post bases are also available to account for high wind and flexion.

Framing Connectors for Ledgers

For the strongest connection between your home and deck, Tension Ties and truss screws provide the support you need. By spreading out the load your ledger bares, joist hangers work to evenly distribute the weight of your deck. Using the right steel framing connections for this portion of your deck is crucial because the ledger will separate from your home without them.

DTT1Z Simpson Strong-Tie Deck Tension Tie


While evenly distributing the weight of your deck sounds like a physics test you weren’t prepared for, The Deck Supply makes it easy by walking through your design in our showroom. As we design your deck, we’ll include the correct fasteners and connectors in our conversation. For an in-depth walkthrough from design to done, read our related step-by-step tutorial.

From Design to Done: Framing Your Deck 

Framing connectors for beams

Throughout your deck, you’ll need a series of beams to support your joists. Whether you’re using a solid beam, a multi-ply beam, or two single solid beams, your deck needs the right beam-to-post connection. The connector you’ll be using for this stage of your build is a post cap.

SIMPSON BC Post to Beam Cap Connector

When choosing the right post caps for your base, our dexperts can help find the correct galvanized steel framing connector based on 3 types of loads. These post caps will need to resist gravity and lateral and uplift loads. To build the strongest connections possible, our team will help calculate the loads your deck design will undergo. With solid, reliable post-to-beam connections, joists are less likely to flex over time.

Joist Hangin’

While the previous connections are very similar on all deck designs, joist connections can vary by your deck’s unique design. That’s why The Deck Supply carries an array of steel framing connectors designed with different uses in mind. The type of joist hanger or hurricane tie you’ll need for your deck is largely determined by where it will be mounted and the load it will bear.

Joists can be connected to beams or ledgers, on top of beams, or on the rim board. To mount your joists to the ledger or rim board, hangers provide maximum stability with rotational and bearing support as well as uplift resistance. In these designs, you’ll either want to use heavy-duty framing screws, or a series of L angles to ensure strong connections.

When joists rest directly on top of beams, you’ll need to connect each joist to the beam with a hurricane tie. For this application, blocking is necessary to provide rotational support while the beam itself provides bearing support. Regardless of where or how your joists are connected, corrosion resistance is crucial. That’s why The Deck Supply only recommends galvanized steel framing connectors from the posts to the front steps.

Build Stronger Stringers

Stringers are boards that are cut out to support stairs. Most sets of stairs should be built with 4-5 stringers depending on the materials used for the tread. To ensure your tread meets the required 40 lbs per sq. foot standard, our dexperts recommend stringer connectors

To connect the bottom end of your stringers, you’ll need to anchor a wooden plate to the base of your deck with heavy duty screw anchors. To fasten stringers to that plate, you’ll need additional framing angles. As you complete your installation, you’ll also need post bases for rail posts, as well as post caps to support your stringers, and angle connectors to tie everything together.

Stronger Together

To build the next generation of decks, The Deck Supply sources the most advanced hardware, accessories, and decking. Our team of dexperts helps contractors and hardcore DIYers build strong, lasting connections with every recommendation. To find the right solutions for you, check out our online shop, call the dexperts, or visit a showroom near you!

Shop Online

Talk to a Dexpert

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Featured Products

To help streamline your shopping experience, The Deck Supply is keeping things simple. Add the right steel framing connector to your cart in just a couple of clicks! Here are the products featured in this guide to build a strong, long-lasting deck.

Simpson ZMAX® ABA Adjustable Post Bases

Post and column bases from Simpson Strong-Tie secure the bottom of posts or columns to concrete. These bases are designed for use on hardened concrete and wet concrete. The AB series also offers adjustability around the anchor bolt for effective post-placement. These bases come with a 1-in. standoff from the concrete to help avoid post-end rot from moisture.

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Simpson ZMAX® PCZ Post Cap Connectors

The PCZ is designed as a fast and easy post-to-beam connection. With the post and beam flanges in line with each other, this post cap can accommodate several post sizes. The PCZ features a ZMAX® finish to meet exposure conditions in many environments.

Simpson PC4Z Post Cap

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LUS ZMAX® Galvanized Face-Mount Joist Hanger

This joist hanger is an easy-to-install, economical solution designed for common lumber sizes. Featuring double-shear nailing, these hangers distribute the load through two points on each joist nail for greater strength. These hangers allow for fewer nails, faster installation and the use of all common nails for the same connection.

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Outdoor Accents® ZMAX® Heavy Joist Hanger

Featuring a range of sizes, these hangers install easily with the Outdoor Accents structural wood screw, hex-head washer and Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screw. APLH light hangers are also available.

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Camo Structural Flat Head Ledger Screw 

These Flat Head Ledger Screws are ideal for attaching ledger boards to a structure, or laminating beams for intermediate and cantilever support. These screws hold strong and finish flush in a variety of applications. They can also be used as a replacement for ½” lag screws in general construction projects.

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Simpson ZMAX® Galvanized Hurricane Ties

Simpson Strong-Tie hurricane ties are designed to resist high winds and seismic forces by positively connecting trusses/rafters to the top of the wall of the structure.

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ZMAX® Galvanized Adjustable Stringer Connector

The LSCZ adjustable stair-stringer connector offers a versatile, concealed connection between the stair stringer and the carrying header or rim joist while replacing costly framing.

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16-Gauge ZMAX® Galvanized Reinforcing L Angle

The durable design and fastening options of these load-rated skewable angles make them an ideal option compared to field-fabricated clip angles. The L angle has well-defined fastener locations, and testing ensures that the tabulated load values account for connection eccentricities.

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Titen HD® Heavy-Duty Screw Anchor

It is the ultimate choice to provide fast and efficient installation, combined with long-lasting corrosion resistance for an unsurpassed peace of mind. The THDSS is a state-of-the-art screw anchor solution that combines the corrosion resistance of Type 300 Series stainless steel with the undercutting ability of heat-treated carbon-steel cutting threads.

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Strong-Drive® SD Connector Screw

The Strong-Drive SD Connector screw is specifically designed to replace nails in certain Simpson Strong-Tie connectors and is the only screw approved for that application. The load-rated SD screw has been tested and approved for use in many popular Simpson Strong-Tie products.

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Simpson Strong Drive Structural Truss Screws

This high-strength structural wood screw is designed with a shorter thread length to fasten multi-ply members such as plated trusses, engineered-lumber products, and solid-sawn lumber. Truss screws can save considerable amounts of time – where one screw replaces the need for 8 screws or nails.

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