How to Build a Wood Deck

A wooden deck is a great way of adding life to any house’s outdoor environment. A wooden deck may also be added to an area used for leisure or a place that offers an exhilarating view. Making a wood deck is a great home improvement project and especially if it is done with your own hands, the result may be even more gratifying.

Tools required

  • Shovel
  • Power drill
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Post hole digger

Materials required

  • Wood
  • Wooden posts
  • Joist hangers
  • Joists and balusters
  • Nails and screws (galvanized)
  • Lag screws (galvanized)
  • Concrete (premixed)
  • String or chalk
  • Gravel and polyethylene
  • Bolts


  1. Make a plan that dictates where and how big your wood deck will be. The area where you plan to build it normally determines the size you will use to build it.
  2. Use chalk or a string depending on the surface of the area and a marker to show the construction area to give a clearer depiction of how it will look. Excavate the area with a shovel a couple of inches deep and a couple of inches wider than the actual deck size.
  3. Cover the foundation with gravel and polyethylene to prevent weeds from growing in that area and into the deck.
  4. Measure the length and height of the ledger (the wood that will support the deck) with the tape measure by calculating the total length of the deck minus 3 inches. Calculate the size of the interior finished floor and use these calculations for the wall where the deck will be installed. Make another mark at least 2½ inches below the first mark to allow the installation of 1½ inches of decking boards. The ledger can then be placed anywhere below the second mark.
  5. The ledger should now be attached to the wall with lag screws into a solid area.
  6. Use a post hole digger to make a hole about three (3) feet deep for the supporting posts then fill the holes with gravel just before putting in the posts. Then when the posts are in securely pour concrete to stabilize it along with bolts.
  7. Use hangers and connect the joists to the building structure then hold up the joists with ridge planks and attach them to the supporting beams with nails and screws.
  8. Now it is time to set the deck boards. Begin with the wall section a secure them with the power drill, hammer, nails, and screws. At each step of the way, make sure the decking is installed and aligned; if any section is done incorrectly it will ultimately affect the entire structure.
  9. Use lag screws and secure the balusters to the band joists. Then install the wood deck railings by joining the railing to the house from different points.
  10. Lastly, use Paint and stain to give the deck a series of coats to preserve and protect it from decay. Paint and staining provide protection from the constant, sun wind, and rain. You may also add plants and chairs on the deck to add style. Now you can invite your friends over to see what new project you have been up to

Tips and Warning

  • Use pressure-treated wood for the deck that can stand up to all different extreme cases of weather including, heavy rains, snow, heat, etc. The recommendation for this would be cedar, oak, or rosewood.
  • Check with your local authority to check that your wood deck building project adheres to the regulations of your neighborhood.
  • When installing the posts in cold climates, you need to dig deeper holes to set them up.
  • With each step of the way in the construction process, consistently check with your construction plans, so the measurements in the paper and on the ground go hand in hand. If not it could ruin the entire building project.
  • Pre-made stairs can be purchased and added to the deck to people can easily get on and off the deck.
  • You may mix your own concrete however this may be more time-consuming, but could save you some extra funds.
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