SimpsonĀ® Stair Stringer Connectors

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SimpsonĀ® Strong-Tie adjustable stair stringer connectors make building deck stairs easier, faster, and provide solid bearing for the stringers for a variety of lumber sizes and slopes. We use the Simpson stair stringer connectors for even the smallest deck projects.

Simpson stair stringer connectors

There are two Simpson stair connectors - one with the ZMax coating (LSCZ), and a stainless steel connector (LSCSS). If you decide to go with stainless steel connectors, you'll also need to use stainless steel screws and/or nails. The connectors are made of 18 gauge steel, and the product number (LSCZ or LSCSS) will be stamped right on the connector itself. The connectors are concealed behind the stair stringer, and can be used for either right or left connections so the sides of the connectors will also be mostly hidden from view.

Tips for installing the Simpson stair stringer hangers

Pre-bend the connector: Tack the unbent Simpson connector to the stair stringer, and position the connector on the rim joist to get an idea of where the bend should be located on the stair connector relative to the stringer's slope. Even though the stair stringer will be a 2x10 or 2x12, you can use a scrap piece of 2x6 to pre-bend the Simpson connector in order to get a nice sharp, straight crease that will lay flat against the rim joist. You can bend it in place, but you won't get as sharp a crease. The image below shows the 2x6 block positioned in the Simpson hanger.

Simpson stair hanger prebent for deck stringer

Overbend the hanger: Once you have the connector bent, overbend it a little. Once the connector is nailed in place, the stringer will lay better in an overbent crease than an underbent crease. This makes it easier to balance the stringer on the connector while getting a screw started.

Tack with a roofing nail: If the pad is already poured you can ignore this tip, but if there's any chance at all the Simpson connectors will need to be adjusted, tack the hangers in place with a roofing nail. You can't use a screw because the screwhead will make the stair stringers stick out too far, and the Simpson nails that you'll eventually use once the connector is in place are designed to hold tight, and if you need to move the connectors, it's a bear to get the Simpson nails out without twisting the connector. The image below shows one roofing nail holding the connector in place so the stringer can be tacked to the connector, and the stair pad layout can be checked.

Simpson stair hanger attached to deck joist

Nail or screw the connector: Once the connectors are in place, attach the connectors to the stringer. The face of the connectors need to be attached with Simpson nails because, as mentioned earlier, the screw head will make the individualstringers stick out. The sides of the connectors can be attached to the individual stringers with screws and Simpson recommends putting a screw in each hole, but check with your local code enforcement officer for any local rules regarding deck stairs. The image below shows the connector partially attached to the stair stringer using Simpson #9 screws.

Simpson stair hanger and Simpson screws

Where to buy Simpson stair connectors

The Simpson stair connectors are available at Home Depot and Lowes, and most building centers. If those aren't available to you locally, Amazon also carries the stair connectors, as well as the Simpson connector screws.