Sunday August 1, 2010:
I am new to working on decks. My deck is old and I am repairing it. I am going to use nails and screws. I am looking for elementary advice on the nails and screws to use.
For example I was replacing a plank on my deck staircase
I bought some exterior screws screws (Grip Eite Fasteners 2 -1/2"). The screw head is the classic criss-cross.
I made a pilot hole with a drill in 1-1/2" wood plank and then used a power driver to put the screw through the hole and into pressure treated lumber staircase below. There was no pilot hole drilled in the pressuer treated lumber. I found that the power screwdriver destroyed the head of the screw as I tried to drive it through the pressure-treated staircase wood. I wondered if there is a better screw design that cannot be reamed out so easily by a power screwdriver. For example I have seen analagous screws with star head or square head design and you use the corresponding driver bit.
I switched to construction nails (3", 10 d) and used them. This worked and secured the planks to the staircase, but I still wondered it 10 d was a little big and I noted the nails I used did not make any statement about exterior use.
I am am looking for general basic advice and wood appreciate comments.