Whenever I use hangers I end up with something that looks wrong.

Hangers have two sets of screws. One, the "flat" screws, drive into the wood your hanging onto. The others, the "diagonals" drive into the wood you're hanging. Does that make sense? Do these have official names?

I install them by holding everything with one hand and then driving in one of the "flat" screws with my free hand. Then I switch and drive one in on the other flat side, so now it's not going anywhere.

The "problem" is that when I drive in the diagonal screws, the hangers pull in toward the studs. As the hanger is slightly wider than the studs, this causes the bottom of the hanger to bow out slightly, so it is no longer in contact with the bottom of the piece being hung.

Am I doing this wrong?


If the joist hanger is slightly wider than the joist ( joist, not stud ) then do not push it in towards the joist.

Fasten it parallel with one side up against the joist and a gap on the other side. Then fasten the gap side to the ledger board parallel so it does not bow at the bottom, ( do not push it in to the joist ) Before you fasten the gap side to the joist put a filler shim in the gap between the joist and the hanger. A piece of thin plywood could work or two shims turned so the thin edge's are facing each other so they create a flat surface. ( This allows you to adjust the thickness of them by sliding them together or apart. you may have to trim their length )

The connection of the hanger with ledger board is important as it is what is carrying the weight of the joist and the connection of the hanger to the joist help to keep it from pulling away from the ledger board. Use a longer screw or nail to account for the thickness of the shim.

  • Thanks Alaska! That last bit was my concern. But I have yet to find a hanger that doesn't have this problem, every joist I've used is always subject to this. Perhaps a canadian thing? – Maury Markowitz Jun 27 '19 at 19:12

What about this method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hv27hrOz0g I have heard of people lightly toe nailing the joist in place and then placing the hanger.

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