How To Build A Deck

A Deck offers an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors right in your backyard. It is easier than you may think to build your own deck. You just need to know certain information to accomplish the task.


You must first know what style and shape of deck you wish to build before proceeding. Check out the decks of family and friends for some ideas. In addition, many books and online resources are available to provide you ideas for decks.

Once you know the basic shape and style chosen, next you will need to take some measurements of the location of the deck. These measurements will allow you to choose the right plans. You should know the width, length, height of footings for your deck. If it has more than one level, you will need these measurements for each level.


Once you have the necessary measurements of the deck, you are thinking of building, it is time to find the plans to show you how to build it. You can buy premade plans, computer software to design your own plans or draw out your own plans if you have the skill.

Most pre-made plans or computer-generated plans include a material and tool list of everything that goes into assembling your deck. Make sure when drawing your own plans that you know all this information for yourself.


You need to choose the type of materials you are going to construct you deck with next. Many choices are available today. Pressure-treated lumber such as southern yellow pine is a very popular low-cost option. This type of lumber is treated with certain chemicals that make it resistant to the weather elements. Other lumber made of redwood or cedar also stands up well outside. Today, there are many synthetic choices also for building a deck, so examine the benefits of all before choosing the right one for you.


Tape Measure
Layout Square
Chalk Line
Carpenter’s Level
Straight Edge
Framing Hammer
Framing Square
Utility Knife
Nail Sets

Circular Saw
Power Screwdriver (option manual ones could be used)

Nails and screws properly treated for outdoor use
Various brackets for attaching the deck to the house and the pieces together

This is just a sampling of tools needed, the plans you use should have a more detailed list.


Step 1:  Clearing and leveling the land that the deck supports are going to set on or in footings.

Step 2:  Install the ledger boards onto the house at the appropriate height according to your plans, making sure they are well secured to the houses foundation or framing.

Step 3: Measure where footings go and dig holes (first call utility companies to ensure no underground lines are present). A building inspector may have to inspect the open holes at this point, check local codes.

Step 4: Framing out the deck is next.

Step 5: Install the floor and build the steps.

Step 6: Build the Railings and finishing touches.

Step 7: Stain the Deck if so desired. This does depend on which materials are used for construction. Once the stain is dry, the deck is ready for a party.

What’s Next?

For more information on How To Build A Deck, we recommend reading the following additional articles:


New York Buildings

Carroll County, Maryland

Fairfax Count, Virginia

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