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How To Build A Basic Deck In 9 Steps

This process is for a low-level basic deck. Where you don’t need to build posts, steps, or railings.

1. CHECK IF YOU NEED PERMITS

It would be terrible if you’re in the middle or just finishing your deck, and the city or municipality tells you to tear it down.

Checking for permits at your town planning department can help you avoid this. You’ll be able to build the proper deck for your area and enjoy it without worry. 

2. DESIGN YOUR DECK

Some things to consider:

  • Raised decks need railings and stairs. Ground-level decks aren’t as expensive because they take less time, labor, and materials. Do you want it at ground level or raised?
  • What kind of material do you want to use? Low maintenance composite materials are what most people choose. You can also choose a variety of wood products. Wood decks require annual maintenance.
  • Think about what you want to put on it and the number of people you want to fit on it. How big do you need it to be? Build a deck to fit your needs. This comes down to what you want to do with your deck.

3. ATTACH THE LEDGER

You may want to brush up on deck terminology.

Start by taking off your home’s trim and siding to a foot above where the ledger’s top will be. Cover it with a self-adhering waterproof membrane. Any step down to the finish decking, which is on top of the ledger, must be 4 to 7¾ inches below the door sill. Cut spacers and attach them to just below whether the ledger will sit. Put the ledger on the spacers and nail it in place.

4. PROTECT THE LEDGER

Attach a self-adhering waterproof membrane to the ledger. Add metal flashing over the membrane and nail it down. This will help you build a deck subframe of a higher quality and longer life span to match warranties on your new low maintenance composite decking.

5. SET FOOTINGS AND PIERS

Determine where the footings will go. For this it is best to use batter boards and mason strings. Dig holes where the footings will go, making sure they’re wide enough for the post and deeper than the frost line if applicable.

Assemble the structural rebars for footings, place them in the holes, build the shape of footings per plan and backfill each one. Fill the rest of the hole with concrete, insert footing hardware and let it cure..

6. INSTALL POST BASES AND SIDE RIM JOISTS

Put a post base on top of a pier and mark the location. Drill into the top of the post and use an anchor bolt and impact wrench to hold the post base in place.

Create rim joists and beams from pressure-treated 2x stock wood. Glue them and nail them together from both sides. This helps you build a deck that’s more solid.

Fit a side rim joist into a joist hanger at one end of the ledger, square the corner, and toenail it through the hanger into the ledger with nails. Put the joist’s other end on a corner pier.

7. INSTALL POSTS,BEAMS, FRONT RIM JOISTS, AND INTERIOR JOISTS

Attach double joist hangers on the ends of the front rim joist’s inner wood pieces. Then put the inner wood pieces into the post bases.

Put a side rim joist into a front hanger and square the corner. Secure the front rim joist wood piece to the post bases with hanger nails. Then put nails through the face of the front rim joist into the end of the side rim joist. Repeat with the other side rim joist. Attach face-mounted double joist hangers for beams along the front rim joist and ledger.

Fit and nail each beam following the same process.

Complete the doubled front rim joist by gluing and nailing the outer wood pieces to the inner wood pieces. Install joist hangers along the beams.

Finally, fit and toenail joists through the hangers. Apply self-adhering waterproof membrane to all deck top frame sides.

8. ATTACH THE TRIM AND DECKING

Now we get to the last step for how to build a deck.

Nail trim boards to rim outer joist faces. Scarf any joints in the run and miter joints at the corners.

Cut your deck boards the length of the wall to the outside trim board plus an inch.

Add a polyurethane marine sealant along the top edge of one of the side rim joists and lay the board down. Fasten the board by adding hidden stainless steel fastener clips throughout. This helps you keep the same spacing so your deck looks even.

Follow this process until you finish your deck.

Finally, add siding back to your house within a half-inch of the decking.

Build A Deck You And Your Family Will Love For Years To Come

Not everyone has the time or energy to build their own deck. In that case, you can rely on EDKOR Construction! We’ll help you create a deck that’ll make everyone in your neighborhood want one.

Contact us when you’re ready to talk about your deck-building project. Or, you can visit Our deck-builder page.

How can Our Professional Design / Build Services help you?

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