How to Build a Deck




About: There are three sorts of people in the world, those who can count ,and those that can't.

About 6 months ago (laughingly called summer here in the UK) my aunty wanted a deck to replace a patio that had been destroyed during some building work they had had done.

Here's how I did it!

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Step 1: On the Slippery Slop to Nowhere

The amount of in-fill you'd need to level this area would be tons.

You can see the slope by following the line of bricks along.

Most sensible way to create a level seating area is a raised deck.

Step 2: First the Posts and Joists ( the Bits Your Deck Is Going to Sit On)

The first thing is to dig the holes for the posts which are 4 inch square by 8 foot long. (a bit long but they can be cut down later.

The holes are about 18 inches deep and when the posts are leveled upright the holes are filled with concrete.

Then, using the thrubolts, attach one length of 6x2 joist to the wall making sure its level.
Go around the posts screwing on the rest of the joists with the coach screws to the posts.

Using the joist hangers, criss cross between the outside joists with lots of extra joists.
The more you use the less it will bounce when you are having your non-thin friends around!

Joist hangers just nail on, couldn't be simpler.

Step 3: Time to Get Layin'

Now its starting to take shape. YEAH.

First we want to put something underneath the deck to stop weeds, triffids or "illegal plants" from sprouting and growing up through it.

You can get special fabric but I use old plastic bags. Nothing like recycling.....

Now start screwing down your boards on to your joists. I used specially coated screws so they wouldn't rust but hey, its a free world.

When you put the second one up to it you want to leave a space for rain to drain off and so you can loose coins and keys!

The best way to keep a regular gap is to use carefully designed, purpose made spacers.

Or a couple of off cuts that look right.

Step 4: How to Stop the Daleks From Conquering the World

Now to get technical (for me).

The pointy bits of wood that look like giant saw teeth from the previous pics (remember those?) are screwed on to the posts and short lengths of deck are screwed on top to make steps. (hence the dalek pun. Don't get it? Never mind)

You can buy the top and bottom rails and uprights for between the posts for the classy look and to stop your mates falling off it when they've been supping the sauce!

They are dead easy to screw on especially when you've done such a good job of concreting in the posts.

Finishing touches;


Step 5: All Done. Enjoy.

If your eyes are the windows to your soul then lights are,.......well, still lights i guess.

Anyway, easy enough to do. The lights come as a kit with everything prewired.

Just drill holes the right size, drop the leds in stainless steel holders in and turn on.


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    14 Discussions


    2 years ago

    is the 18 inch hole deep enough to be below the frost line level?

    Someone told me that when he had a sunroom built off the back of his house, they didn't make the post holes deep enough and it was not below the frost line, so that when winter came, the freezing temperatures made the posts rise unevenly, causing the doors to not slide shut completely. There was always a slight gap. When the weather warmed, then it went back to normal, but this problem can't be good for the deck or sunroom if it happens every year, correct? Just wondered.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    In most of the US, spacers are required to be 16" or 24" apart depending on what material you use. Oh, and Home Owners Association (HOA) approval and usually at least a building permit from the county. Any such restrictions in the UK?

    4 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't know there would be any retrictions in the US regarding this sort of thing.

    There isn't any that I'm aware of over here.
    Follow this link for more info.
    Planning and building regs

    As always common sense requires a fairly solid structure if you're going to have people walking about on it.

    If this isn't accurate please feel free to correct me (nicely)


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Planning Permission for a patio/deck? Thought Holland was overregulated but The Home of the Free beats us everytime! Nice deck, Beado. Wouldn't mozzie-breeding puddles form in your recycled binliners (where did the rubbish go, btw?), or does the slope take care of that?


    Reply 2 years ago

    haha! Yes for a " Land of the free" we certainly get taxed for every little thing, and there seems to be fees for everything! I always imagine that there is a 'think tank' of corporate heads somewhere in an ominous castle, just thinking up ways to suck us dry of our money (Ha!).


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Although the bags overlap, there is still a gap between which the water can drain. I suppose the permission is in case it spoils your neighbours view of the ground!!! The rubbish from the bin liners was just thrown over next doors fence. (JOKE!!!)


    3 years ago

    It can be argued that all of the permits and inspections are about revenue and getting the information to the tax assessors for your next bill, but if it was only about revenue, there would be no need to send an inspector and get a green tag. I built everything on my 5 acres with no permits or inspections, out in rural Texas, It was a liberating experience after the East Coast. I followed codes even though there would be no one scrutinizing my work. Rural America is rife with collapsing structures, built with no standards, and we hear periodically about decks collapsing while the wedding party is gathering for pictures or children caught between balusters anchored too far apart, all code issues. My heirs may have trouble selling since it will be hard for a buyer to find a lender willing to enter into any long term deal involving structures with no permits.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I think this decking is great! Really like the lights, just needs a Patio Heater, Table, Chairs and Not forgetting a good bottle of wine and your set.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    That looks really good!! now you just need a few plant pots (big) and chairs.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea but what i really would like to do is something i saw at a trade fair, a sunken wine cooler!!!!! Instructable please.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    oh... oh wow.. just wow. this is just.. AMAZING. all is good, but there is not too many steps. looks great!