Decks.com, TimberTech.com and About.com offer free plans for outdoor decks. The plans available at these sites offer consumers many options, from a simple, single-level deck to a multilevel deck designed for a hot tub or pool.
Of the 85 free plans at Decks.com, 25 are available in multiple sizes and include framing plans, material lists, drawings and building guides. All of these plans are based on the International Residential Code, and by supplying only a name, email address and zip code, consumers can have the plans sent directly to an email account.
Plans at TimberTech.com and Freebies.about.com are downloadable directly from the site and require no personal information. TimberTech lists 40 plans that include illustrations, materials lists, deck layout diagrams, deck part identification pages and structural connector hardware guides. It also features installation checklists, tool lists, permit pages, beam layouts and component descriptions. About.com links to plans from reputable sites such as Lowes.com, PopularMechanics.com, Wolmanized.com, DoItYourself.com and HandymanWire.com.
Deck builders must keep in mind that these plans are not specific to local building codes and that a local building inspector or structural engineer must approve any building plans. The sheer number of available plans that are easily modifiable ensure that a builder can find a deck to suit his needs.