Fastening Deck Boards    
  Hammer two nails or screws into each joist that a deck board crosses (2x3's only need one fastener at each joist.) With fewer fasteners, the boards may cup. With more, the wood may split. Locate the fasteners about 3/4 inch from the edge of the deck board. For appearance's sake, try to keep fasteners in a fairly straight line along each joist.Use a light pencil line as a guide. A chaulk line is hard to remove.
     
Nails, Screws or Clips    
  Three kinds of fasteners are common for decking. Each has its benefits. Nails are inexpensive and easy to install without special tools. Screws hold tenaciously, and are easy to remove later without damaging the wood. Invisible clips permit you to install decking without any visible fasteners. These are installed with one nail into the joist and another into the side of the decking. They cost a bit more to use, and take a little extra installation time.
     
Which Side Up?    
  Always install decking boards bark side up as shown in drawing. The upper board is incorrect. Bottom board correct. Be sure to pre-drill all ends before nailing or screwing to deck frame.
     
Spacing Decking Boards    
  Leave enough space between the boards to permit debris and moisture to fall through. An 1/8" or 1/4" gap is usually enough. If your deck is underneath a lot of overhanging trees it is wise to use a 1/4" gap so that organic mater won't collect between the boards and promote wood decay. You can use a 16 penny nail as a spacer. Remember that your deck boards will shrink as they dry, opening the gap even further.
     
Straightening Curved Deck Boards.    
  To pry boards that are to close insert a pry bar until the spacer can be inserted for the proper gap. To pry boards that are to far apart, drive a framing chisel into the joist and pry back against the spacer. Drive a nial intil it's just through the deck board before you pry. This way a quick hammer blow ot two will hold the board in place.
     
Preventing Split Ends.    
  Drilling a pilot hole for nail or screws is the surest way to prevent splitting. Choose a drill bit a little narrower than the nail or ecrew you are using.
     
Scribing    
  Use a compass to fit a board around a curved or irregular object such as a stone or pipe. Place the board parallel to the line of the decking and up close to the object. Set the compass perpendicular to the board and trace around it. Don't try to fit the board precisely. A gap of 1/8" allows for expansion and contraction. If the gap is consistent it will look fine.
     
Notching    
  When you need to notch a deck board it is easier to position the deck board in a way that lets you mark directly from the obstruction. Use a combination square to gauge the location and depth of the cutout. Don't try to fit the board precisely. A gap of 1/8" allows for expansion and contraction. If you try to cut the board to tightly it may split when the board swells.
     
Marking a Straight Edge    
  Let the deck boards run a few inches long on one end. it's much easier to cut them all at once. Pull a chaulk line taut and snap it to mark the cut.
     
Flush Sawing    
  With a little practice, and patience, you can cut a straight line just by following a chalkline. If you're uncertain, tack or clamp a straightedge to the deck and follow it with the edge of the saw. To trim the decking flush to the joists set the saw blade depth just a hair deeper than the thickness of the deck boards, but not so much as to cut the joist below.