How to Build Your Own Deck

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How to Build Your Own Deck

Building a deck is a dream for many homeowners. Hiring someone to do the job for you can be expensive, and sometimes the dream deck becomes lost in translation. By doing the job themselves, homeowners can get the exact deck they hope to have, and can do it at an affordable price. Whether an existing deck needs replacing or the installation of a deck is happening for the first time, the first step involves planning the project to make sure all the bases are covered.


Preparing the site

Before the deck even begins to take shape, permits and plans are part of the pre-building stage. If the idea for a deck has been in the works for a while, it is possible that mental blueprints already exist. For the actual building process, those plans must make it onto paper.

Planning the deck

Graph paper is an easy way to map out any building project to scale. Each square corresponds to a specific distance, making it easy to see how everything lays out. Once plans for the deck are complete, those plans can be submitted to the permitting agency to obtain permission for the actual building process.

Physical preparations

Once all of the plans and required permits are in place, it is time to start preparing the physical site. Make sure to move any debris or old deck parts out of the way before new lumber and other large materials arrive. It is a good idea to mark out the space required for the deck with small stakes and twine, so that the scale of the project is easy to see.


Required materials

Even the most basic deck requires some specific materials in order to build it properly. It is recommended to set up a central work area with a solid work surface in order to cut pieces of lumber to size and fit them where needed. Materials and tools to gather include:

  • Safety goggles
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Circular saw
  • Chalk line
  • Tape measure
  • Moisture barrier
  • Concrete
  • Nails
  • Lag screws or carriage bolts
  • Lumber


Choosing the lumber

Choosing the lumber for building a deck is extremely important. Home improvement and remodelling magazine This Old House recommends using pressure-treated lumber for any area that touches the ground or is exposed to water and snow on a regular basis. Other areas of the deck, such as the actual deck flooring, can be almost any type of wood, including:

  • Pine
  • Fir
  • Spruce
  • Cedar


Building a deck

To actually build the deck, first use moisture barrier if necessary where the deck meets the house. The first piece to attach is the ledger board, which is the piece of wood to which the entire deck secures to the house. Next, determine where the footings should be and dig holes to pour the concrete. Place the footing posts and use a level to make sure that the posts are straight before pouring the concrete into the hole. Allow the concrete to set at least overnight.

Deck frame

The next step is to build the frame of the deck, which runs out from the ledger board on one side to the other sides of the deck. The sides should meet at each footing post. Run joists in the opposite direction from which the decking planks are to run. Use carriage bolts or lag screws to ensure the joists attach securely. Also, use a level to make sure that each joist is perfectly level before securing them.

Final steps

From there, the decking should run perpendicular to the joists. This allows for greater stability and strength for the entire deck structure. Stagger the lengths of the decking pieces so that they do not end at the same points. Be sure to hammer all nails flush with the face of the decking so that they do not catch on anyone's feet, shoes, or clothing.


How to buy items to build a deck on eBay

Finding what you need to build your own deck is easier than you might think. The sellers on eBay have a huge selection of building materials and safety gear from which to choose. To start, determine what you need to complete the project and enter the keywords into the search bar found on any eBay page. If you need a pair of quality safety goggles, perform a search for them by name or by brand. Once the listings load, look for Top-rated sellers to help ensure a quick and reliable transaction.

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