How Do You Build a Simple Deck?

To build a simple deck, build a foundation, and screw deck boards on top of the foundation. Build a staircase and a railing for the deck as add-ons.

  1. Install the flashing material

    Cut the flashing material with tin snips. Loosen the siding on the house, and slide the flashing material underneath it. Secure the flashing with nails. Continue until the areas of the house where you plan to install the deck are protected by flashing.

  2. Mark the ledger board

    Mark the ledger board at the center in 16-inch increments to indicate the joist locations. Mark the halfway point between each joist mark to indicate the bolt positions.

  3. Attach the ledger board

    Hold the ledger board up to the house underneath where you want to install it. Using the marks for the bolts as a guide, mark the bolt locations on the house. Cut the ledger board to an appropriate size, and secure it to the house.

  4. Set up the footer holes

    Outline the deck with string tied around stakes. Consult your local building code administrator to determine how deep each footer hole must be, or dig holes that are 12 inches wide and 36 inches deep. Pour mixed concrete into each hole, and allow it to cure for at least one week.

  5. Install the posts

    Install post anchors and J-bolts to the concrete, and then install the posts to the anchors. Mark the spots where the posts meet the bottom of the ledger board, and cut the posts at those spots.

  6. Install the main beam

    Cut a 2-by-10-inch board down to the length of the deck. Cut a second board to the same length minus 3 inches. Center the second board against the first board, and nail the two together. Secure the beam to the top of the posts with adjustable post caps.

  7. Add the side joists and inner joists

    Secure side joists between the ledger and beam with side-rim joist hangers. Do the same with the inner joists at each marked location.

  8. Lay the deck boards

    Lay a deck board across the joists. Screw a 10-penny nail into each joist and against the first board. Lay the second board against the nails, and screw the nails into place.

  9. Trim the boards

    Use a chalk-line as a guide, and trim the overhang of the deck boards.