How to Build a Deck

Something nice to do when it’s hot outside is to lounge on a deck. It is a nice retreat to hold events and dinners when you want a change of scenery. A deck will add value to your home and will impress your friends when you tell them how much it cost, and how easy it was! Just a little pre-planning is needed to complete this wonderful addition to your home.

Required Materials/Tools

  • Some 2×4’s
  • Some 2×10’s
  • Some posts and anchors
  • Quick set cement
  • Floor joists
  • Bolts
  • Sand
  • Screws and nails
  • A hammer
  • Shovel
  • Hose
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Power saw or circular saw
  • Level


  1. First we need to decide where to build. Most decks will be located in the backyard against a sliding glass door or at a kitchen back door. We need to account for the lip of the door and adjust the deck 2-3 inches below that, making a small easy step outside.
  2. Take the stakes and hammer them into the ground, shaping out the size of the deck. Each post should be in the corners of where the deck needs to go. Keep in mind the length of the boards you purchased and accommodate for that.
  3. Fill out the designs of your deck. Make sure you design it from multiple perspectives. Top and sides. Measure with your tape exactly how big you want things. Write them down on the sides of the design. Remember, perfect planning prevents painful predicaments.
  4. Now that we have the designs, you need to make sure you have any permits and licenses handled to build the deck. Look up on your county’s website and see what ordinances you may need to file and complete to start construction. You may need to have an inspector check out your work when finished as well. This will need to be scheduled, so try and have him come after the work is done!
  5. Time to get digging! Dig the foundation holes about four feet deep, we want to go below the frost line. We need them between 18″-26″ inches wide.
  6. Take a cement core and place it into the hole, it should be about 4 inches below the surface.
  7. Mix and pour the cement into the foundation tube.
  8. Stick in the anchor while the cement is wet.
  9. We need to then place the ledge board. This is the 2×10″ piece of wood. Measure 3″ down below the door frame, and then another inch to accommodate the thickness of the deck.
  10. Nail the ledge board to the house.
  11. Lay out the edges of the deck by using the ledge board as a guide.
  12. Install the posts and bolt face boards to the posts.
  13. Attach the floor joist hanger 16″ center.
  14. Install the floor joists.
  15. Use a drill and deck screws and start installing the deck. Alternate the grain patterns to prevent warping.
  16. Use a nail width to space the boards so water can drain through.
  17. We need to paint the deck before it is laid down. You can use some water sealing varnish or other materials. Make sure it’s water repellant.
  18. Lay down the deck and finish attaching it.

Further Reading on How to Build a Deck

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