By Michael Haigley
May 21, 2003
Terry Pommett

Design your deck so rainwater drains quickly. Don't worryabout salt spray-salt is a wood preservative. But fresh waterhastens rotting.

Pay strict attention to manufacturers' suggestions whenyou're building decks with composite products. Don't cheat on plankspans, and follow recommendations about the appropriate tools touse.

Spring for stainless steel nails and screws. Though theycost much more than galvanized fasteners, the incremental addedcost is minimal. And you can avoid the ugly stains of metalfasteners rusting and bleeding into the wood.

Also, take time to line up nail and screw heads so they'repleasing to look at when you gaze down the deck. It shows attentionto detail and costs nothing extra.