Imagine having a gorgeous ground level deck where you can spend time outside and enjoy the weather. Now imagine that you did it all by yourself. Building a deck can be an intimidating project but with a little knowledge and skill, you can not only build it yourself but also enjoy it for years to come. To get started you'll need to determine what size and shape you want and how much you are willing to spend. Once you have that figured out, let the rest of this article help you out in building that dream deck.
Clear the land area off for the deck. This could be done any number of ways, from tilling to just a simple raking. It will be best to pick an area that is flat and that does not impede the water runoff from the roof or gutters.
Use a long 2 by 4 and a 4-foot level to level the ground. Using deck piers, lay out the corners and the middle piers to form the shape of the deck. Use stakes to mark the corners of the deck and add string to the box area to form a grid as reference over the placement of the piers.
Place 2 by 6 pressure treated lumber in the notch of the pier running parallel to the length of the deck. Attach 2 by 6 lumber to the corner and run around the outside perimeter with coated deck screws at least 2 ½ inches long. If available, use a square head screw to prevent stripping the screw head. Screw the field 2 by 6 boards to the rim to make it a solid and single piece.
Decide what type of decking you will want to cover the framework. Some choices are composite, which islow maintenance and comes pre-coloured and finished, pressure treated, redwood and white oak. Besides the composite deck boards all the others will need refinishing and sealing ever so often.
Lay out the deck boards on top of the framework. Decide the spacing of the deck boards since it will depend on the material used. Natural woods will need spacing to expand and contract whereas composite decking will not. Also, natural wood decking will not need special screws, as composite will. Attach the deck boards appropriately as the materials dictate.
Lowes has deck plans you can use for free.