Steps to Buildling a Deck

7 Steps to Building a Deck

If you are looking to build or replace a deck there are several things to ask yourself before starting this process. For starters how do you build a deck? This article can provide you with a 7-step guide to building a deck. So, what are the seven steps to building a deck?

To build a deck you need to:

  1. Plan for where you want the deck to be.
  2. Make sure to mark the areas around where your deck will be built.
  3. Pick and build your foundation.
  4. Create the framework for the deck.
  5. Build in boards and add fasteners to joists.
  6. Make sure that all the boards on the deck are the same size.
  7. Complete the finished look with stains or flooring.

This article will go through the steps to building a deck. Reading on can help give you insights on the process of building your beautiful deck.

Can a Beginner Build a Deck?

While anyone can build a deck, there are some types that can be easier for a beginner to do. Decks that are lower on the ground tend to be easier to build than those that are higher up. Typically, you would need to have some experience with deck building. However, that is not always the case. There are several instructions and plans that can help any DIY-er build the deck of their dreams that require little to no experience.

There are some materials and equipment that you will need to build a deck. For a beginner, it is important to know how to use the equipment safely. The tools you will need for a deck can be found in the table below.



·         Tape measure

·         Chalk and Masons Line

·         Framing Square

·         Speed Square

·         Pipe Clamp

·         Spade Shovel

·         Crescent Wrench

·         Pry bar

·         Utility Knife

·         Tin Snips or Shears

·         Hammer

·         Level

Power Tools:


·         Circular Saw

·         Reciprocating Saw

·         Jigsaw

·         Table Saw

·         Power Miter or Chop Saw

·         Router with Round Bit

·         Drill

·         Sander





How Do You Prepare the Ground for a Deck?

When you are planning to build a deck regardless of if you are a beginner or an expert, you will need to assess the area where the deck will be built. You are looking for a smooth and flat surface to start with.

First you need to mark off the area of ground that the deck will be built on. Ensure that any extra chunks of dirt and grass are removed for a smoother surface. Always make sure that there are not any underground services like water or electrical components when you mark off the area. This can be ensured by your local utility agencies.

After the holes and the footings are done, you will then start to prepare the ground for your deck. First start by making sure the ground is as level as possible. Next lay down some landscaping fabric, not plastic, and add gravel or granular stone. The gravel or stone will need to be at least three inches in depth.

Now you can begin to build your deck.

7 Steps to Building a Deck

There are a few steps that you can follow to ensure that your deck is built under the correct requirements. A deck can typically take anywhere from a day to a few weeks to complete depending on the plans and the weather. These steps can be found below in more details as well as with what you need to build your deck.

Step 1: Plan Your Deck Design and Area

When you decide to add a deck to your home and yard, there are some things that need to be considered in detail first. This first step in planning for a deck is to decide what design you are looking for when it comes to your deck.

There are plans and designs that can be found online like these ones at Home Stratosphere.

After choosing your deck designs, you need to start looking for the area you want to build the deck. This needs to be a place that isn’t in a weird area and can benefit from some partially shaded areas. If you choose an area with some partial shade, it can lessen the cost for your deck. Decks that are in the full sun with no natural shade areas may cost more for an added roof.

You can go cheaper when it comes to needing a shaded area for your deck. Options for shade without building a roof are umbrella and outside furniture sets with a tent.

Step 2: Mark your areas off and Prepare the Ground

Once you have decided on both the design and the location. You will need to start marking off the areas and preparing the ground for building. You first would want to create the holes and footings needed for the deck first.

This process just makes it easier for laying down the foundation. Footings are typically made from concrete to ensure that they are the strength needed for the deck. Once you have your footings dug and poured into the holes, you can begin building the foundation.

Step 3: Choose and Start Creating the Foundation

Depending on if you want your foundation and deck to last for years will really be based on the materials you choose to use. When you build the foundation of your deck, it is better to use a concrete base instead of wood. Concrete tends to last longer and is stronger in many ways than wood is for a deck foundation. After you have set your footers and poured them, you will then pour the foundation. It is important to make sure that the foundation is above the ground at least by a few inches. This ensures that no moisture is getting trapped underneath the deck to cause damage.

Step 4: Build the Framework

After adding all of the footings and laying the foundation for your deck, you will then start working on the framework. The frame is important when building a deck because it is the main outline and support for the deck. You can think of the frame as a skeleton.

The frame is basically made from connecting joists, beams, and posts that support the deck. Make sure that you measure before you build any framework. The framework does not necessarily need to be attached to the house or building.

You will build the framework with the lumber of your choice. This will also need to include beams for a center support. These are not the same thing as a footer. Center beams and the outside support for the framework are the start. You will install the boards and fasteners on these.

Step 5: Add Boards and Fasteners

Once the framework is finished, you will begin to build the actual deck. This will include boards being the same size. You will run the boards parallel to the house. Unless you are creating a deck in your yard then these boards will need to be the opposite of the framework.

You will install a fastener to each board you add. These fasteners are what will hold your boards together and to the framework. After you have laid all the boards and attached the fasteners, you will then install the boards that are perpendicular to the joists. These will need two fasteners instead of one.

Step 6: Check that the Boards Are All the Same Size

Once you have your deck built, you will need to ensure that all the boards are the same size. This can is done either by visual checks or using a straight edge tool. If there are any boards that are not the same, this is the perfect time to trim. You will need to mark where each longer board needs to be cut using a chalk line.

Then, using a circular saw, you will saw across each marked line to create an even deck.

Step 7: Add the Finishing Touches

There are a lot of finishes and stains that you can use for your decking. These can include oil-based, water-based, and no finish. Typically, you will want to add a finish to your deck to ensure more protection from UV light to the elements.

You would just need to follow the instructions on the container that the finish comes in and apply to your deck.


You can build a deck regardless of whether you are a beginner or an expert. The steps required for a deck are pretty simple and start from planning your design to adding your finished products. Decks add a great view and space for your house or yard. The next step after building a desired deck is to maintain it in all seasons, you might interested in reading information on Prepare Your Deck for the Winter.

When building a deck, keep in mind that the area will need some shade at some point. This shade can be a roof built or an umbrella.