How To Build A Deck
How to build a deck is about elaborate planning and hard labor to put the structure in place. A deck is a nice addition to a home or condo. A deck is also a nice addition to an apartment, if you can get away with adding one without anyone noticing.
You'll need a few basic pieces of equipment:
- graph paper
- saws, table saw and hand saws
- hammer and nails or nail gun or wood screws
- wood or plastic patch
- metal brackets, braces
- post digger or shovel
- concrete, water and mixing bucket or container
- deck building material, wood or plastic composite wood
- wood stain or preservative
- Measure the area. Measure the width of the potential structure, if the deck is to back up to a building. Measure the length and width of the yard and the general area. Also pay attention to measuring the height of the potential deck. You might want stairs. If so, measure the approximate height of the stairs. Put all the measurements onto the graph paper. Put the yard area measurements on the graph to get perspective. A monster deck in a tiny yard may not give you the right ambiance.
- Use the graph paper to plan the deck. Planning is the key to how to build a deck. Unless you are loaded with bucks and have money to throw away, this step is the most important part of the entire process.
- Walk the area with the plan. Once you've made sure the plan matches your needs, walk the area with the graph paper and mentally think about the overall design. Look for any potential problems, such as a faucet that might be covered by the deck or any problems with the structure siding or facing.
- Check out any permits. As much as you might want to just start building, your city may have other ideas. You might need to buy a building permit for your deck. How to build a deck involves getting the legal nod to put up the structure.
- Window shop for equipment. Go to the store or lumber yard and price your supplies. Some places will help DIY patio builders with help in selecting just the right decking material without charge. You must buy all of your goods at the center, however. It's a fair deal.
- Re-walk area with the revised plan. Walk around with your graph paper and make sure you're still happy with your design. No buyer's remorse wanted on your new deck. The permit folks might have made some mandated changes that mean an overall redesign.
- Prepare the ground. Clean out any greenery and foliage from the area. Prep the area underneath the deck with small stones or gravel. You don't want plants growing up through your deck.
- Plan for run-off. Look at any structures near the deck and plan for rain run-off. Even in sunny climates, constant drainage on wood can ruin a nice deck.
- Stake out the deck measurements. Put measurement stakes in the ground with string to the exact measurements. Staking needs to do width, length, as well as height requirements.
- Place support posts. Dig holes and put the support posts in place. Use the level to make sure the posts are even. Add concrete to the holes to stabilize the post supports. Make sure the wood doesn't touch the dirt, only the concrete. This will keep termites from wood posts.
- Frame the deck. Add the structure for the surface. Use the metal support braces to hold the frame in place. This takes constant measuring and checking with a level.
- Add the surface. Once everything is in place add the top of the deck. Measure and level. Measure and level.
- Frame out the deck. Add any trim work and cut support posts so that everything is even.
- Seal or paint the deck. If your deck is wood, don't delay in putting on a sealer. Wood warps and the sun bleaches the structure. A minimal cost for sealer saves thousand spent on a deck.