How To Build a Deck in 5 Steps

How To Build a Deck

Building a deck requires planning and research. Planning your deck, having a list of all required materials and the ensuring all required tools are on-hand will make the job much easier. We’ll show you how to build a deck step-by-step, from planning it out to completion, so you can start enjoying your new outdoor space. 

Skill Level: Intermediate
Time:

Before starting any decking project, check with your municipal office to make sure you’re compliant with your local building codes, regulations and zoning restrictions.

  1. Step 1 Plan and Design Your Deck

    part 1

    No matter which type of deck you decide to build, you’ll need a plan in place to ensure everything goes smoothly. In this step you will learn about using our free deck builder in-store to design your deck and get an estimate of all of the materials you’ll need to get started. You will also learn about popular deck materials you can choose from such as pressure treated lumber and other types of lumber or synthetic materials. It’s also important to keep your local building codes in mind while planning your deck. These will dictate things like where you can place your footings, how high your deck can be, and more. Having the appropriate permits if needed is essential to avoiding unnecessary headaches during the build. Watch the first of the How to Build a Deck video series and check out our Deck Design and Inspiration page to get some great ideas for deck designs and styles.

    Deck Design and Inspiration 

    Choosing the Best Decking Material 

  2. Step 2 Measure, Dig Footings, Set Posts and Install Ledger

    Dig Footings and Set Posts

    Once you’ve planned your deck and got the outline of where it will go, you’ll need to measure and cut your material, dig your post holes or footings and install a ledger. These are the structural support base of your deck. We’ll show you how to lay out, mark, dig and pour your concrete footings to ensure that your deck is sturdy for years to come. You will also learn how to determine the position of the ledger before attaching to your house. Watch this video or view the links below for more details. 

    Laying Out Deck Footings   

    How to Dig Deck Footings

    How to Pour Concrete Footings 

  3. Step 3 Build and Install Deck Framing

    Build and Install Deck Framing

    Building your posts, beams and joists creates the frame of your deck, where your deck boards will lay once your deck is complete. This step includes constructing the beams, how to select and install the boards for joists, nailing in your joist hangers and installing your header –  so you can build a sturdy, level deck frame. View how this is done in this video.

  4. Step 4 Install the Decking Boards

    Install the Decking Boards

    Now that your deck frame is complete, you’ll need to install your decking boards. In this step we’ll show you how to choose the right boards, the right fasteners and tips on spacing your boards. Laying and fastening your deck boards correctly will help to ensure that you account for shrinkage and aesthetic. View how this is done in this video. 

  5. Step 5 Build Stairs and Railings

    Build Stairs and Railings

    With your deck nearly complete, we’ll show you how to install your stairs and railings if necessary. In this step we’ll walk you through the measurement requirements for your deck stairs,  rules for cutting stringers – the wooden frames for your steps – attaching railing posts, treads and more. Most building codes require railings for decks that are over 24 inches in height. They are important for keeping your friends and family safe while walking on your deck. Choosing the right colours and designs for your deck railing can really pull the style or design you’re looking for together. In this final step we will also show you how to protect your deck from the changing weather. View how this is done in this video. 

    How to Build Stair Stringers 

    How to Build Stairs with a Landing 

What You Need for This Project

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