A Complete Guide to Building Your Own Deck
From Footings to Finish
To me, deck building has always been one of the most rewarding jobs. Within just a few days, you’ve added a significant amount of finished square footage to a home. But deck building has dramatically changed since I started 25 years ago. Not only are there many more material choices, but there have been critical code changes that reflect the importance of proper design and construction. So while deck building remains one of the easier and more rewarding outdoor projects, it’s crucial to adhere to codes and manufacturers’ recommendations to ensure a safe and long-lasting deck.
The deck I’ll describe here is medium-sized, with two sets of stairs to easily access both sides of the yard. It is framed with pressure-treated lumber, and the decking, railing, and trim are synthetic products. A double border accents the deck’s perimeter. A ledger attaches the deck to the house on two sides; its weight is supported from below by two beams resting on eight 4×4 posts centered on concrete piers.
Rick Arnold is a contributing editor. Photos by John Ross, except where noted.