Get the PDF Download the construction details members can download a PDF with framing and finish details for the deck built in this video series.

Download the PDF

thumb Introduction (Now Playing)

Get an overview of the steps involved in building a deck and a preview of each episode.

thumb Build a Solid Foundation

Learn how to secure a ledger board to the house then establish and pour a square foundation.

thumb Framing the Deck

See how to construct a solid frame of posts and beams that will support the ledgers and decking.

thumb Installing Joists

Watch Rick and his crew add the deck rim bands, joists and newel posts to complete the deck's frame.

thumb Laying Down Decking

See the whole team pitch in to lay down the decking with the decorative rim band.

thumb Building Basic Deck Stairs

Learn to calculate, cut, and construct deck stairs using simple math and basic tools.

thumb Assembling Deck Railings

Gain an understanding of how composite-railing systems are assembled and installed to complete the deck.


Rick Arnold

South Kennsington, Rhode Island

Rick Arnold

Veteran contractor Rick Arnold is a contributing editor at Fine Homebuilding magazine. He is the author of numerous articles and books on home construction and remodel. He is a well-known and sought-after speaker and presenter at home shows and building seminars around the country.

In this series, we transport you right to the job site where you can “build along” with Rick and his crew as they construct a sturdy, attractive backyard deck.

The deck you’ll see Rick build is not a prop in a studio. It’s an actual project attached to an actual house, and the construction methods that Rick and his crew demonstrate reflect the best practices of professional builders. You’ll see firsthand what’s involved in locating and pouring piers, framing the structure, building stairs, laying deck boards, and attaching railings.

In addition to video, you’ll also find Fine Homebuilding’s best articles detailing specific deck-building methods, as well as tips on choosing the right tools and materials to build your own deck. We recognize—and want you to recognize, too—that good builders often have several ways of approaching the same task. Written by a few of the best builders in the country, our collection of articles both explain and go beyond the methods used in the videos. Likewise, keep in mind that building codes governing deck construction vary from region to region. Always consult local regulations before starting work. And good luck on your project!

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in the Gallery

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More Articles on Building a Deck

A Solid Deck Begins with Concrete Piers A Solid Deck Begins with Concrete Piers
Build a sturdy foundation with basic tools and proven methods.
Deck Boards Done Right Deck Boards Done Right
Whether you're working with flat or crown, achieve a professional-looking joint that stays airtight season after season.
Smart Deck-Framing Strategies Smart Deck-Framing Strategies
Ledger brackets, flexible flashing, and a joist-hanger jig are a few ways to overcome common job-site challenges.
Paint-Grade Interior Trim Durable Deck Stair
Ipé decking covers beefed-up stringers and a newel-post assembly that won’t rack.
Lay Out and Install Joists Lay Out and Install Joists
Correct size and spacing depends on the load, span, wood type, and decking. Learn to do it right for your deck..
Deck Railings Grow Up Deck Railings Grow Up
Alternatives to wood offer style and durability when it comes to choosing a railing system for your deck.