DIY Tips: How to Build a Deck

In this article we’ll take a look at a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach to building your own deck. While we’re assuming that you have information on building a deck, we’ve compiled some DIY tips that can help the process go as smoothly as possible. The most important part begins before the build. Make sure that the area where the deck will be built is perfectly level and has adequate draining. Do not disturb the soil so the deck’s footings will set correctly.

You will need to use lag screws to attack the ledger to your structure. Make sure the surface is perfectly flat. Removing siding is not recommended because it can create leaks. Instead, you can create a flat surface using shims. Unless your home is made of stucco, then you will need to install flashing.

The best way to mark your foundation is with a string line. Mark the locations for your deck’s posts and footing. Cast concrete footings and hold the posts with concrete piers. You will need to research your local building codes since these will usually contain information on how deep footings should be. Now, you will need to wait. Don’t touch the footings for a week the concrete will need to cure.

When setting a post in the post anchors, make sure that the posts is longer than the required length beforehand. Then check it for plumb using a level. Depending on where the joists will sit, you will need to mark the appropriate spot before you cut. Once you’ve done this, then you can set the post and secure it. Since there may be height variations in your deck’s area, don’t cut all of your posts together cut them individually so that each post adjusts to any possible height variations.

Plumbing, wiring, and other similar components should be installed once you’ve set the posts for railings, benches, and overheads. You should also use this time to install any railings that actually pass through your deck. Before you start on the deck’s boards, make sure that you apply protective finishing to every spot of your deck’s substructure. Otherwise, you will probably miss spots, making your deck vulnerable to humidity and pests.

Boards, in general, can run long. You can cut sections that are too long once you have finished laying them down. When fastening them, also make sure to add some spacing between the boards. Also make sure to check as you go so you don’t have to adjust as much with your final board’s length.

About the Author:

This Guest Post was written by David. If you’re going to do something, do it right. David has written many articles to help you succeed in your various DIY projects. He is a content writer for

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