How to build a temporary outdoor deck

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people enjoy moving their gatherings outdoors when spring rolls around. This migration into the sunshine and fresh air leads to better mental and physical health after a long winter stuck indoors. These outdoor events may call for the use of a raised platform that will provide a place for people, food or stereo equipment to sit so they are not directly on the ground. A full-fledged deck can provide this space. However, if you do not have a deck, or the time and money to build one, you can still build a temporary outdoor deck to suit your needs.

Cut each of the treated 2-inch by 12-inch boards to a length of 72 inches, using a circular saw. Stand two of the boards on their side so they are parallel to each other and 7 feet apart.

Place the remaining three boards on their side perpendicular to the first two. Move these boards so the entire layout is a square with the fifth board running through the centre.

Fasten the frame together by driving three 16d nails through the outer boards and into the end of each of the three boards in between. Fasten each junction and leave each nail head 1/8-inch away from the surface of the board for easy removal later.

Lay the two pieces of plywood on your frame. Arrange the plywood so the seam between them runs along the length of the centre board in the frame. Fasten the plywood to the frame, using roofing nails.

Apply a grid of construction adhesive to the top of the plywood deck with a caulking gun. Space out the beads of adhesive so they run every 3 inches along the plywood in each direction.

Lay the outdoor carpet over the grid of adhesive on the plywood decking. Pull the carpet tight and press it down onto the deck. Run a wallpaper roller repeatedly in each direction to further compress the carpet into the adhesive. Let the adhesive dry overnight.


Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand and power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 treated boards (2 inches by 12 inches by 8 feet)
  • Circular saw
  • 16d galvanised nails
  • Hammer
  • 2 sheets of treated plywood
  • 1-1/2-inch roofing nails
  • Caulking gun with construction adhesive
  • Outdoor carpet
  • Wooden wallpaper roller
  • Razor knife
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
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About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.