How to Build a Deck – DIY Overview
Watch video! In this overview, you’ll watch the full process of a deck build. A good place to start if you want to get an idea of how a deck build process gets underway.
The beauty of a deck is that—unlike bare ground or lawn—it’s level, stable, supports furniture, sheds rain, and provides usable living space. Building a deck, however, requires more skill and understanding of construction principles than, say, building a patio. The simplest deck, called an on-grade deck, typically requires the installation of concrete piers to which beams and joists are attached. The perimeter joists, called rim joists, are doubled and then covered with trim boards.
Depending on climate, the piers may need to be set on a footing that is several feet below grade. Check with your building department to find out what the code is in your area. Proper footings prevent the deck from ‘heaving’ should the ground freeze. Framing hardware, such as post bases and joist hangers, are used to join all framing members. Decking (what you walk on) is fastened to the joists with screws or nails from the top, or with “invisible” fasteners from below.