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FastenMaster ICON Success Story: Rob Pichette

890 SF Deck Surface With an Outdoor Kitchen & Living Area

The ICON ScrewJoist is a new deck framing system that combines the strength of steel with the workability of wood. Top builders like Rob Pichette are making the switch to the ICON System.

Rob Pichette is the own­er of Deck Experts LLC, and has been build­ing high-end cus­tom decks in Con­necti­cut for over 30 years. Rob doesn’t do tra­di­tion­al– he uses cut­ting-edge mate­ri­als and tech­niques, pro­vid­ing the very best out­door liv­ing spaces on every project.

Rob was one of the first builders to try the ICON ScrewJoist Sys­tem, using it as the fram­ing for one of his most ambi­tious projects yet – an 890 square foot deck in Glas­ton­bury, CT., com­plete with an out­door kitchen, gran­ite coun­ter­tops, a 16 x 18-foot pavil­ion roof, bench seat­ing, bench stor­age, and a full stone fireplace.

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A Perfectly Level Frame

With Rob’s plan to build addi­tion­al struc­tures on top of the fram­ing, he need­ed to make sure the deck frame was per­fect­ly lev­el. Typ­i­cal­ly with a project of this size, this would have been a daunt­ing task, cost­ing him valu­able time.

One of the best things about ICON is that you don’t get any crowns or dips in the sub­struc­ture – so it’s going to save us a lot of time when putting down cab­i­netry,” said Pichette. It’s per­fect­ly lev­el from the get-go, so there’s noth­ing to adjust on the fly like there is with dimen­sion­al lum­ber that can vary a quar­ter inch or more.”

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ICON joists are inher­ent­ly self-lev­el­ing – the top and bot­tom chords of the joist slot per­fect­ly on the ledger, so there is no need to use joist hang­ers or strug­gle to align the joists with the top of the ledger.

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Superior Strength

Due to its 26’ span and the weight of kitchen appli­ances and addi­tion­al struc­tures on top of the deck, Rob’s plan called for 4 sets of block­ing (2 mid-span, 2 bear­ing) through­out the struc­ture. On tra­di­tion­al fram­ing this would have been a time-con­sum­ing process. How­ev­er, this is not the case when using the ICON System.

On tra­di­tion­al fram­ing, our joists are sol­id, so we need to cut indi­vid­ual blocks and stag­ger them through­out the length. With this sys­tem, we just slide the block­ing right in, shoot our screw in the top, shoot our screw in the bot­tom, and the blocking’s done.”

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Not only do the open webs of the ICON joists make it easy to slide a sin­gle piece of lum­ber through the entire struc­ture, but the diag­o­nal struc­tur­al screws also give the joists their supe­ri­or strength.

All ICON projects come with a detailed engi­neered plan and a 25 year war­ran­ty, so even on unique projects like this with addi­tion­al loads, Rob can rest assured that his deck meets code and is designed to last.

Time Savings

Time is of the essence on any project, but espe­cial­ly on one that involves so many dif­fer­ent stages. Noth­ing else can hap­pen until the fram­ing is com­plete. Luck­i­ly, the ICON sys­tem helped shave days off of Rob’s instal­la­tion time.

For this deck, the fram­ing would typ­i­cal­ly take two or three days, but we were able to get it done in five to six hours,” said Pichette.

Not only did Rob save time on lev­el­ing and block­ing, but ICON joists are also about ⅓ the weight of tra­di­tion­al pres­sure treat­ed lum­ber, mak­ing them eas­i­er to car­ry and faster to install.

ICON is just a great prod­uct,” said Pichette. It pro­vides the strength of steel with the work­a­bil­i­ty of wood, but it’s straighter, lighter, and faster to install, and meets code.”

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Never Going Back

Rob has switched all of his projects to the ICON sys­tem going for­ward. The strength, flat­ness, and time sav­ings ICON pro­vides made it a no-brain­er for him and his team.

You can save a ton of labor, you don’t need any addi­tion­al joist hang­ers or hard­ware, they are much faster and eas­i­er to install, come with a 25 year war­ran­ty as well as detailed engi­neer­ing draw­ings – none of which you get with dimen­sion­al lum­ber. This is the only sys­tem I’ll ever use – I won’t build anoth­er deck any oth­er way.”

ICON ScrewJoists are avail­able with or with­out a water­proof sealed top for long term weath­er­ing pro­tec­tion. They are cur­rent­ly avail­able in MA, CT, RI, VT, NH, ME & NH. Fas­ten­Mas­ter will be expand­ing ICON into addi­tion­al mar­kets in the future.

Do you have a job com­ing up where you’d like to try ICON? Click here to request a free quote and begin your ICON suc­cess story!