6 Steps To Build A Beautiful Backyard Deck Like A Pro

Follow our six essential steps to a DIY deck of your dreams, from start to finish! Our basic, easy-to-follow instructions will turn you into a weekend warrior. If you’re still unsure and need extra guidance, visit your local Lowe's. Our knowledgeable associates can provide more assistance or connect you to our installation team! 

2+ Weeks
Less Than $5,000

What You Need for This Project

Building Your Deck in 6 Steps

  1. 1


    Plan, Plan, Plan

    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, the choice is yours! There are plenty of stunning deck designs, layouts, and ideas to play around with!

    Note: Be sure to follow local zoning bylaws and obtain any required building permits. 
  2. Steps:

  1. 2


    Basic Questions to Answer

    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. 
  2. Steps:

  1. 3


    Strong Foundations Rule!

    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! 
  2. Steps:

  1. 4


    Time To Get Building

    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 hide 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. 
  2. Steps:

  1. 5


    Step Up!

    You’ve got your basic decking, and now you’ll need a staircase.  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. 
  2. Steps:

  1. 6


    Almost Beer Time

    Upgrade your look with stylish pre-assembled railings and balusters to complement your deck! These accents will help to give your deck extra polish.

    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! 
  2. Steps:

Ready To Build?

We stock everything you will ever need to get your project out of the planning stage and into construction. From the ground up to the final finishing touches, Lowe's is ready to get you started and fished the right way. Let's get building!


How To Terms

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.

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