How To Build a Simple DIY Deck

Written by  //  March 25, 2021  //  Home Construction  //  Comments Off on How To Build a Simple DIY Deck

building deck

Now that the weather is finally warming up, many people are looking for ways to spend more time outside. One way to create an enjoyable outdoor living space on your property is to build a deck.

In addition to providing a space to hang out and get some fresh air, installing a deck can improve the aesthetic appearance of your home, increase its square footage, and boost its overall value.

So, what are you waiting for? To learn how to build a simple DIY deck without breaking the bank, follow this helpful guide.

Create a Game Plan

The first step to building your own deck is to create a game plan. Essentially, you’ll need to determine what you want your deck to look like and what equipment you’ll need.

To keep your project as inexpensive and easy as possible, keep the design of your deck simple (i.e., don’t opt for a multi-level deck with stairs, railings, and other features). For optimum ease, choose a ground-level or platform deck layout. In addition to being easier to build, such decks stay below permit level, so you won’t break any building codes when constructing them.

Clear the Area and Place Footings

Once you’ve developed your game plan, it’s time to clear the space where you will install your deck. Remove any shrubs, trees, large rocks, and other items that may get in your way throughout the process.

If you plan to install a larger deck, you may want to rent a skid steer with a land-clearing attachment to make the process quicker and easier. In addition, consider spraying grass and weed killer to prevent growth from poking through your deck once it’s finished.

Upon clearing the space, place your deck footings one at a time. When doing so, consistently measure the distance between them and level them carefully to ensure they are placed properly.

Cut Your Deck Joists and Planks

Next, you’ll need to prepare and lay your deck joists. Measure each joist individually to ensure it is the right length in case there are any minute inconsistencies in the distance between your footings.

After you’ve laid your deck joists, move on to cutting your planks. Using a wood planer will make the process of cutting planks of even length much easier and will provide the wood with a nice, smooth finish.

Lay Your Deck Planks and Cap It Off

The next step in how to build a simple DIY deck is to lay your deck planks and add end-caps. When laying your deck planks, you may need an assistant to help you hold any warped boards in place while you install the screws.

The spacing of your boards will largely depend on your own preferences. Most people space their boards around 3/16” and avoid going more than around ¼” apart.

Once you’ve laid all your boards, add end-caps to complete the look. A simple 1 x 6 border in the wood of your choice should do the trick.

Stain and Seal the Deck

Lastly, you’ll need to stain and seal your deck to keep it looking as good as new for years to come. Ideally, you should use a weatherproofing stain and seal, especially if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain. For the best results, make sure to wait an ample amount of time between applying each coat to ensure they dry completely.

image credit: twenty20.com

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