How To Build A Deck



Decks can be a great feature in a garden depending on the shape and size. They are often cheaper than traditional patios and features can be incorporated, such as swimming pools, jacuzzis and even fires!

Here's how to put together a deck in 23 easy steps!

Step1
Check drainage and grading where the deck will be built and fix any problems. Avoid disturbing the soil where the footings will go because footings need to set in undisturbed soil to prevent settling.

Step2
Set the ledger against the house wall or other solid structure and attach with lag screws. This must be done against a flat surface. Removing house siding will create a flat surface, but will create leaks, so it is not recommended. Instead, use shims to create a flat surface. When setting your ledger you need to consider your decking material height/thickness. If you desire your deck to be level with an adjacent floor, your deck should be directly below the door jam of that room when finished.

Step3
Flashing should be installed between any wood and the house (unless it is a stucco house, then no need for flashing)

Step4
Mark the foundation with string line, then mark the footing and post locations.

Step5
Cast concrete footings in the ground, then attach the concrete piers on top to hold the posts. (Check building codes for required depth for footings.) Piers can be cast in place or pre-made.

Step6
Let footings cure for at least a week.

Step7
Cut a post longer than the required length, then set it in the post anchor on top of a pier.

Step8
Check the post for plumb, using a carpenter's level. Then use a line level or water level to mark the post so it is the same height as the bottom of the joists. If the joists are to sit directly on the posts, mark the level and cut the post. If the joists are to sit on a beam set on the post, subtract that height, then mark and cut the beam.

Step9
Set the post in place and secure.

Step10
Follow the same procedure for all other posts, marking and cutting them individually to allow for any height variations.

Step11
Nail or bolt any beams in place, then attach any necessary bracing. Add any rim joists at this time and check to see they're square.

Step12
Decide on a decking pattern and the spacing of the deck boards. Starting at one end of the ledger, mark the location of the first joist. Continue marking along the ledger. Transfer the joist markings to a scrap piece of lumber, then mark the beam opposite the ledger.

Step13
Add joist hangers, then fasten the joists in place. Set the joists so the crown, or bowed side, faces up. Add any required blocking for stability.

Step14
Set posts for railings, benches, and overheads in place, and install any plumbing or wiring. Install railings that go through the deck.

Step15
Add stairs now or wait until the decking is finished.

Step16
Apply any protective finishes to the deck substructure.

Step17
Cut the decking boards to the correct length, then start laying them across the joists, beginning at the ledger and setting the convex side up if attractive. Boards can run long.

Step18
Fasten boards to the deck with nails or screws. Add spacing between the boards, as needed.

Step19
Adjust the width of the final board as needed, either by setting a slightly wider board in place or cutting one so it is less wide. Check as you go along to plan for this.

Step20
Once the final board is set, cut off any long ends.

Step21
Add any railings that sit outside the deck and any stairways not added earlier.

Step22
Add amenities, such as benches and planters.

Step23
Apply any protective finishes.


Make sure you have the following basic tools available before starting to construct your deck

-Bulb Planters
-Galvanized Nails

-Lag Screws
-Hammers

-Levels

-Flashing

-Concrete Piers
-Benches

-String Line

-Wooden Posts
-Ledgers

-Joist hangers


For a bit more information, check out these great sites on Deck Construction, Designing Wooded Decks and Decks