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How To Build A Deck Guide Part 2

Updated on March 13, 2013
Some of the free deck plans available for immediate download.
Some of the free deck plans available for immediate download.

How To Build A Deck #2

You can save a lot of money by building your own deck. All you need is a free deck plan, the right tools and a little hard work. The site can teach you everything you need to know about building a deck from the ground up.

You will have no problem finding a design to suit your needs. You can choose from hundreds of plans in multiple sizes. You can download these detailed plans for free and print them off to submit for building permits. Each plan comes with a materials list for either wood or composite decking, railings, lumber and hardware. You will need a circular saw, saw horses, hammer, tape measure, level, screwdriver, speed square, shovel, wheelbarrow, construction pencils and a ladder for high decks. It is also a good idea to rent a construction dumpster for debris.

It is usually best to work as a team of 2 or 3 carpenters when building a deck. The first step is to install your frost footings. Laying out footings is much easier using the footing triangulation plan. You will need to call to have your utilities marked before digging. Use a shovel or post hole digger to excavate a hole to the proper depth and size. Next mix bags of Quickcrete with water in a wheel barrow and fill the holes to grade. Before the concrete hardens you can set anchors in the center of each footing. This anchor will hold the post base hardware in place to support the frame.

The next step is to attach your ledger board to the house wall using flashing and lag bolts with washers. Reference the "How to build a deck" construction guide for full color details and code information. Make sure your ledger board is watertight to prevent rain from leaking into the house. After the ledger board and footings are installed you can set your beams in place and begin framing the perimeter joists of your deck. Use a square and level to make sure the deck is even. Most deck builders intentionally slope the deck about an inch every 10' away from the house for drainage. You can now fill in the frame of the deck with joists using hangers every 16" on center to strengthen the frame. Add blocking to the center of joist spans for extra strength.

Next you can lay the flooring by using screws or hidden fasteners. Hundreds of articles, videos and calculators to answer all of your deck building questions. Guard rails must be 36" high and have less than 4" openings. We recommend that you bolt your rail posts to the deck rim about 6' apart for the best results. Composite railing systems are usually sold in kits that are easy to install by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Building deck stairs can be a little tricky for DIY builders. Measure the height of the deck and plug the number into the stair calculator and you can find the correct measurements to cut your stair stringers. Don't forget to install a gripable handrail before calling for your final inspection.

Read How To Build A Deck Guide Part 1.


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    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago


      thanks for the info.

      on how to build a deck

      very important for those that are

      wanting to learn how.

      Voted up