How to Build Your Own Timber Deck

There is nothing better in the summertime than having your own deck to relax on, so if you don’t already have a deck at your place, why not build one? Building a timber deck can be extremely easy, so do some research and check out the following guide, and you’ll be relaxing on your deck in no time.

Tools you’ll need

  • Tape measure

  • Pen and paper

  • Stakes and twine

  • Drill and bits for both wood and masonry

  • Post hole digger

  • Mattock

  • Hand saw

  • Level

  • Hammer

  • Decking nails

  • Iron tamping rod

Supplies you’ll need

  • Washers

  • Masonry screws

  • Joists

  • Beams

  • Hangers

  • 12mm galvanised bolts

  • Planks

  • Nails

  • Quick dry cement

* To determine the amount of each supply item you will need, first decide on the size of deck you want to build, and then make use of free online programs to get your exact supply amounts. Alternatively, have a decking company do up a free quote for you, as this will include a breakdown of all the supplies you will need.

Step 1

Measure the space you have for building your deck, then draw up a plan that will fit your size requirements.

Step 2

Once you have planned out your deck, use your stakes and twine to mark out the area.

Step 3

Using your mattock, remove the top layer of grass in the area you have chosen for your deck, as this way you won’t have to deal with grass growing up from under the deck.

Step 4

Measure the height your new deck will be and mark it out, as this is where your headboard will be placed against the house. Drill holes into the bricks as well as into the headboard, then using your masonry screws and washers, attach the headboard to the side of your house.

Step 5

According to your deck plan, determine where your corner posts will need to be and then dig holes for each post between 18 and 36 inches deep. The larger your deck, the deeper these holes need to be. Once your holes are dug, use your quick set cement, your tamping rod and your level to set your posts into their holes.

Step 6

After leaving the posts to set in their footings, next nail in the beams, connecting your posts and headboard to create a border for your deck. These beams, or bearers, should be level with your headboard, and attached with 12mm galvanised bolts.

Step 7

Fasten the joists next, spacing them approximately 450 mm apart. Check out online diagrams to be sure you are doing this important step properly.

Step 8

Add your ridge planks to help provide support to the joists, staggering them along the length of your joists for maximum support.

Step 9

Last but not least, use string to mark out exactly where your decking boards need to be, maintaining a consistent gap, then proceed to nail in your decking boards in a staggered pattern. Once the decking boards are on, you have finished building your new deck.

Depending on the height of your deck, you may need to provide a railing or steps as well, so make sure you know the requirements for your deck and that you are installing it according to health and safety regulations.

Next you can take on turning your deck into a veranda, and building a pergola.