Joist hangers are an important part of the construction of the floor and deck. The hangers reinforce the strength of the joists, keeping the floor strong even as damage sets in over time. Installing masonry joist hangers is not a tasking job, and with the right materials and instructions, you can do it by yourself. At the same time, you need to be careful to avoid mistakes that would compromise the function of your joist hangers. One such mistake is using the wrong size of joist hanger for the joist. Always ensure that you get the right size of hanger guided by the size of the joist. Joist hangers should also not be re-used as this lowers the capacity of load they can support.
Step 1—Purchase Correct Materials
Purchasing the right size of joist hangers is the first step in strengthening your floor or deck. Joist hangers are available in different sizes depending on the size of joists. Nails are another important material that you should buy in the right size. Joist hangers usually come with the recommended size of nails that ensure added strength. The nails are long enough to attach to the frame behind the beam for added strength. Galvanized deck screws are unsuitable for joist hangers because they are not of the proper size and strength needed to support joist loads.
Step 2—Take Measurements
Use the tape measure to get the distance across the outer beam. This will help in locating the areas to install the joist hangers. Use the pencil and mark the spacing of the hangers on the beam, which should be spaced 16 inches apart and a ½-inch from the end of the beam.
Step 3—Install Hangers
Take the joist hangers one at a time and put them astride the marks on the beam so that the marks are at the middle of the hangers. Ensure that the hanger is well aligned onto the beam guided by the mark. Then take the hammer together with the nails and firmly fix the hangers onto the beam on both sides.
Step 4—Fix the Joist
Since joists usually vary in width, you need to measure the width of each joist first. Depending on the varying width, place each joist hanger at the right height to ensure that the joists are level. Take your joists and fit them into the joist hangers firmly by placing the end of the joists onto the hangers. Take the galvanized nails and use the hammer to drive the nails through the outer beam into the end of the joist.
Step 5—Fill Nail Holes
After securing all the joists with nails, fill in all the nail holes. Leaving the holes unfilled allows the weakening of the joist hangers.