Introduction: Building a Small Deck

About: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check out my site @

I'm turning a small shed into a workshop, and I wanted to extend the square footage and build a nice deck. I'm using pressure treated lumber and some basic tools to accomplish this job. Make sure to watch the video that goes over all the steps in more detail!

Step 1: Preparation

The shed measures 10 x 14 ft, so I decided to make the deck on the whole front side, measuring 10 x 6 ft. The first thing I did was to bring in some gravel that I placed all around the area where I wanted the deck, and I made sure I had extra to pack down the posts in the holes.

Tools needed:

  • post hole diggers
  • tamper
  • shovel
  • measuring tape.
  • drill
  • speed square
  • ratcheting set
  • circular saw
  • hammer
  • jig saw
  • level

Step 2: Marking

Next I needed to mark out where exactly the deck will to go. I secured some plumb boards to the house down to the ground so I could get a measurement from somewhere, and then I layed out 2x4 boards as temporary place holders. To make sure my angles were square I used the 3, 4, 5 method. So I put a screw in the corner, and then measured 4 feet on one side, 3 feet on the other, and made sure the hypotenuse was 5 feet, and I did that all around at each corner, and spray painted the boundaries, and spray painted exactly where the posts will go.

Step 3: Digging

For this size shed, I'm adding two posts, which means I need to dig two holes. I first cleaned up my post hole diggers and then dug out about 21 inches deep, however check with local codes for your area, and also call your city to mark out any utility lines. Once the holes were dug, I added a few inches of gravel, tamped it down, then placed the post in the hole, made sure it was plumb and secured all around with additional gravel which I tamped down.

Step 4: Ledger Board

Next up I secured a ledger board to the side of the house. In order to do this, I first had to remove the door and part of the siding (which I'm planning on re-doing anyway). Once the area was cleared, I secured this 2x8 pressure treated board to the studs using exterior nails and some heavier bolts to make sure it is nice and secure, because this board is what will carry a lot of the weight of the whole deck.

When securing the ledger board, make sure you take the additional height of the deck boards into account, so you don't secure it too high.

Step 5: Hangers

Once the ledger board was secured I marked out where I needed the joists, and then hammered in hangers at those locations. I will notch out space within the posts for the side joists to attach to, so I secured the joist first with a clamp and made sure it was nice and level, and then I could mark out exactly what section needed to be carved out in the posts.

Step 6: Notching Out

To notch out the section of the post, I used a circular saw which I made multiple passes with on two sides. Then I used a chisel and a hammer and removed the carved out section. After this I was able to fit the joists into the posts, which creates a far stronger connection, as opposed to simply securing it with metal fasteners.

Step 7: Assembling

When the hangers were attached and the posts carved out it was simply a matter of cutting the joists to size, and fitting them inside. I secured the joists into hangers and the posts with exterior screws and nails.

Step 8: Adding the Decking Boards

Once the joists were secured it was time to add the top decking boards. I began by notching out the first board which will be attached in between the two posts. This was done by marking out the location of the posts and cutting it out with a jig saw. After that was fitted it was easy to place the boards side by side, mark out the joists locations and secure them all with exterior screws. The final board had to be ripped slightly to fit.

Step 9: Conclusion - Watch the Video

For a much better perspective of the process involved, make sure you watch the video that goes over all the steps!