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How to Build an Elevated Second Floor Deck

Updated on January 21, 2015
Photo A
Photo A
Photo B
Photo B
Photo C
Photo C
Photo D
Photo D
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Photo E

Step by Step How To Build an Elevated Deck

First thing that you should know is to check with you local government and find out what rules that you have to follow to be in code. They can change from place to place. I always use a 6” x 6” post on any deck that I build over 6’ High. The reason is that over time they tend to start to get a shake to them. With a 6” x 6” post buried into the ground 30” or more and filled with Concrete they will not move. Always use pressure treated wood. I always lay out the outside corners first and get them Square and Plumb. Then with a line I can set any other post.

The best way to design a deck for your self is to get a piece of Graph paper and making every square a foot laying it out. That way you can figure out what it will look like before you build it. Also most major building supply places like Home Depot and Lowes will take your sketch and make a blueprint of it also figuring out the materials that are needed to build along with the cost of materials. If you have zoning or code for your local government you can now present this to them for approval.

Tools Needed




Post Hole Digger


Saws All

Digging Bar

Level 6’ or longer




Assorted Drill Bits

1. After you have drawn a plan of what you are going to build drive a stake in the ground on the outside corners. Making sure that they are square and located in the correct spot. Dig a hole at least 30” deep or below frost line, whichever is deeper. Setting the post into the hole with a level, Plumb and using a friend pour cement into the hole making sure it stays plumb and in the correct position. Once the concrete starts to set you will not move it. Pour concrete to the top of the hole. See Photo B. You will only have to hold it for a few minutes till it starts to set up.

2. After setting all the corner posts. Take a line and stretch it around the outside perimeter and start digging the inside posts. I like to space them about every 4’. Then set each post as you go making sure they are plumb.

3. While you are waiting for the post to set. I normally wait at least 24 hour or more for the concrete to set. If you shake them before it is set then you may crack the concrete around the post. You can start to put the plate board up on the house. See Photo C. If you are installing this on a concrete block wall then they need to be held on by concrete anchor bolts every 16”. Before doing this I always Figure out where the Joists are going to go then space 1 bolt between each joist see Photo C. If you are going to install this Board onto wood and there is siding there you must cut out the siding and put a piece of flashing in to keep the water from running up underneath. I also put 2 Lag Bolts every 16” if they are going to hit where a floor joist is then countersink them so the heads are underneath.

4. Next install a Galvanized joist hanger every 16”on center where the joist is going to go.

5. Next Install all the outside Plates and Bolt them thru see Figure D You will need 2 bolts per Post. They have to be 3/8 x 8” long Carriage Bolts.

6. After all the outside plates are installed then go ahead and install the rest of the joist hangers. I also like to double up the outside plates for the extra strength. I use # 10 galvanized nails and nail 3 nail every 16”.

7. Next cut and install floor Joists.

8. Using 5/4 Pressure treated decking. Screw with deck Screws or nail using Galvanized Ring nail or Screw nails.


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    • profile image

      carpentercommonsense 12 months ago

      this deck is dangerous and susceptible to lateral stress, and pulling away from the wall.

      lag bolts alone are not an adequate means of attaching a ledger,

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks for the nice comment. Good luck on your Deck

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      This is really wonderful! Thanks for sharing your carpentry knowledge as well as the step by step images. I would have loved to have a deck for our home too. :)

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from western pennsylvania

      thansk for the visit and nice comments

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Just Fantastic! Voted up and across. Wonderful images.