How to Build a Wooden Deck

Wooden decks are additions to a house’s exterior. Adding this extension to an existing house is a home improvement project that can be accomplished in a few days. All you need are the right tools and materials, as well as the proper procedures.


Materials Needed


  • large rivets
  • chalked line
  • expansion and carriage bolts
  • post fasteners
  • ring shank and spiral nails
  • joist hangers


Tools Needed


  • tape measure
  • hammer
  • level
  • hand saw
  • circular saw
  • power drill with various bits
  • framing square
  • combination square


Safety Gear


  • goggles
  • dust mask




  1. Make certain all the metallic materials are rustproof. Rust on the parts of the deck will cause it to degrade prematurely even if the wood lasts a long time.
  2. Lay out the deck by marking out a square using a string and batter boards set in the ground. The strings are set to aid in the visualization of the approximate size and overall exterior of the finished deck.
  3. Prepare the area by using a long cutter or a spade. Dig the area a few inches deep and at least 2 inches wider than the actual size of the completed deck. A sheet of polyethylene covered with gravel may be placed over the area to stop weeds from growing into the deck.
  4. Decide on the height and the length of the ledger. Begin by measuring the level of the interior finished floor and transfer this onto the wall where the deck would be located. Make a second mark of at least 2 ½ inches below this first mark to allow the installation of 1 ½ inch decking boards. Place the top of the ledger anywhere below the second mark. Measure the length of the ledger by calculating the total length of the deck minus 3 inches.
  5. Fasten the ledger securely on the wall by placing the ledger at a point on the wall where the lag screws will securely penetrate on something solid.
  6. Dig holes for the supporting posts that are at least 3 feet deep. Bear in mind that colder climates require deeper holes. Fill the holes with gravel before placing the posts in them and securely set the posts by filling the holes with concrete. Attach the posts to the concrete with bolts while the concrete is still wet.
  7. Secure the beams to the post with nails.
  8. Fasten the joists to the building structure with hangers. Use ridge planks to prop up the joists and attach them to beams.
  9. Install the deck boards starting from the wall going outwards and affix them with nails. Make sure the first course applied next to the wail is aligned as it affects the following courses.
  10. Install the railings by securing the balusters to the band joists with the use of lag screws and by tying the railing into the house at several points.
  11. Waterproof the deck by coating it with a water-repellant sealer.

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