How to Build a Deck That's Not Attached to a House


A backyard deck can be a great place to cook out; get some sun or relax while reading a book. While it may look hard to do, building a deck just takes a little patience and some skill. The work can be done by just one person. Here is a plan for an 8-by-12 foot deck that can be built low to the ground.

Building the deck

Step 1

Start by clearing the land where you plan to build of any weeds or grass. If this is an area that can't be easily reached by a lawnmower or other cutting tools, put down weed killer and some kind of ground cover, such as rocks or a tarp. Try to make the area as level as possible.

Step 2

Dig four holes, each at least 2 feet deep, to hold the posts for the deck. The holes should be 8 feet apart on the width side and 12 feet apart on the length side. Place the wood posts in the holes, but do not secure them yet. The posts need to have some give in case you need to raise or lower them later.

Step 3

Nail the 4-by-8 beams to the outside of the posts along the length sides. Then nail the 2-by-10 fascia beams to the outside of the posts along the width. This will give a squared-in look to the unfinished deck.

Step 4

Screw the joist hangers to the 4-by-8 beams every 18 inches apart. Put the joists into the hangers and screw them in. There are a lot of holes in the joist hangers, but use at least three screws on each side.

Step 5

Nail the 2-by-6 decking over the joists. Use the power saw to trim off any overhanging pieces.

Step 6

Mix some quick drying cement and pour it into the area around the wood posts. This will keep it in place. Follow the directions on the cement bag before pouring.

Step 7

Stain and/or paint the deck to a desired style.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check your local permit laws before starting work. Certain counties and cities require fees to start deck work.

Things You'll Need

  • Weed/grass killer
  • Tarp/rocks
  • 3-foot-high wood posts (4)
  • 2-by-10 fascia (2)
  • 4-by-8 beams (2)
  • 2-by-6 decking
  • 2-by-6 joists (8)
  • Joist hangers (16)
  • 3 1/2-inch galvanized nails
  • Screws
  • Power drill/screwdriver
  • Hammer/nail gun
  • Quick dry cement
  • Power saw

Who Can Help

  • Website
Keywords: decks, wood, hammer, nails, screws
Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Build a Deck That's Not Attached to a House