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Home > Ideas & Tips > 6 Steps To Build A Beautiful Backyard Deck Like A Pro

6 Steps To Build A Beautiful Backyard Deck Like A Pro

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6

STEPS to Build a Beautiful Backyard Deck Like A Pro

Build your backyard deck on your own like a pro!

Follow our 6 essential steps to DIY the deck of your dreams, from start to finish! Watch our video tutorials
for detailed, easy-to-follow instructions from a skilled Lowe’s expert.

If you’re still unsure and need extra guidance, visit your local Lowe's. Our knowledgeable associates at
the Contractor Desk can provide more assistance or connect you to our installation team!

Watch More DIY Decking Videos

Step 1
DESIGN
YOUR DECK

Start with plenty of research to avoid costly mistakes. Anticipate placement, size, and function in your deck plans. It’s important to create an accessible space that fits your landscape and your outdoor lifestyle.

Pay close attention to your building materials and style accents. From classic pressure-treated lumber to weather-resistant wood composite and capped polymer, the choice is yours! There are plenty of stunning deck designs, layouts, and ideas to play around with! Be sure to follow local zoning bylaws and obtain any required building permits as well.

Step 2
BUILD YOUR
DECK LAYOUT

Freestanding or attached, your basic building blocks will be the same: foundation, beams, joists, and decking. Ensure your deck has proper support, such as a ledger board or posts. Use string, screws, and batter boards (made from furring strips) to lay out your plan. Your level and measuring tape will be your biggest assets for precision and accuracy!

Determine your foundation spacing and add your posts, using more strings for alignment. Plumb bobs will help to mark the spot where you can add your stakes.

Remember that if you’re stuck at any time, you can visit your local Lowe’s for more assistance.

Step 3
SET YOUR POSTS
AND PLACE YOUR BEAMS

At this point, you may need an extra hand from a friend or a professional Lowe’s installer. Remember your permit before breaking ground and confirm special building requirements for your post holes. Dig below the frost line, then check with your building department if an inspection is required before moving forward.

Roll out landscape fabric and cut openings for your post holes. After scooping concrete mix up to building code level, add your posts and fill in the rest of hole with gravel. Use your post level and layout strings to make sure each post is perfectly centered and aligned. Pour gravel over the rest of your landscape fabric, and allow your footings to set over a few days.

Make a mark on your posts where the top of your beam should line up. Once you’ve installed cleats to each of your posts, place your beam above them and secure in place. Wearing a face mask, cut off the remaining block of wood from each of your posts.

Way to go, you’ve just made your foundation!

Step 4
ASSEMBLE FRAMING
AND ADD YOUR DECKING

More heavy lifting will be required, so make sure you have help! First, build your frame with rim joists around the perimeter of your deck. Add evenly spaced beams of wood to form your floor joists. Reinforce your joists with corner brackets, joist hangers, and hurricane ties.

When the frame is complete, lay down your boards and drill two nails per joist along each plank. Place a nail between decking boards to allow enough space for proper drainage. Grooved boards are another available option that hides visible nails or screws. Every few boards, use your measuring tape to check that you’re still on track with your deck plans. Use string as your guide to cut excess wood from the edges of your frame.

You’re almost there! It’s time to start adding your stairs!

Step 5
BUILD YOUR
DECKING STAIRS

You’ve got your basic decking, and now you’ll need a staircase. Follow our video tutorial above to build it from scratch. If you need a break or a timesaver, you can also purchase pre-cut stringers and deck stair posts online or in-store.

Once you have the materials you need, mark on the joist where your stairs will meet the deck. (This may be covered by your building code.) Attach your stringers with support brackets and bolts as needed. Add your treads, and your stairs are complete. You’ve stepped it up, and now you’re finally ready to finish it off!

Step 6
FINISH
YOUR DECK

Upgrade your look with stylish pre-assembled railings and balusters to complement your deck! If you’d rather create your own railings and balusters from lumber, you can follow our expert guidance in the video above.

Install lattice skirting, fascia, or post caps as the finishing touch. You’ll also need lighting to improve visibility (plus, it’ll add some extra charm to your backyard). As one last safety check, ask for one last building inspection and contact your local recycling centre to dispose of your treated lumber. Apply weather sealer for protection, and visit a nearby Lowe’s store to recycle your paint.

Dress it up with modern furnishings, container plants, or any other outdoor decor trends that suit your taste!

Congratulations! You’ve built yourself an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind deck! Break out the BBQ and have some fun!

Learning How to Build
a Deck?

We've rounded up the top terms you’ll need to know to help you complete your deck plans.

Capped Polymer
Capped Polymer
Made from recycled plastic polymers and coated with a composite cap, this decking offers an enhanced real-wood look and strength.
Capped Wood Composite
Capped Wood Composite
Composite Made of plastic and wood fibers and coated with a composite cap, this decking is more resistant to the elements than traditional wood.
Cleat
Cleat
A small block of wood attached to decking posts that supports the beam.
Deck Stringers
Deck Stringers
Supporting framework for deck stairs that is directly attached to the deck.
Fascia
Fascia
The boards used to cover rim joists.
Frost line
Frost line
The depth when moisture or groundwater in the soil may start to freeze.
Grooved Board
Grooved Board
Allows for hidden deck fastening system between the deck boards, fastening the boards to the joists with no visible deck screw heads on the surface.
Joists
Joists
Key junctures inside a deck’s framework supported by reinforcement brackets. Rim joists are found along the perimeter of the frame. Floor joists are supporting intersections below the deck boards.
Railing Balusters
Railing Balusters
Horizontal or vertical elements that fit between upper and lower rail plates.

 

Important reminders: All applications should be reviewed by a licensed architect, engineer, or local building official. Remember to always wear safety glasses during installation. Check to make sure all joists are level and structurally sound. If your joists are uneven, your deck may be uneven.

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