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How to Build a Deck: A Handyman’s Guide


Welcome to East Valley Handyman’s guide on how to build a deck! If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor living space and add value to your home, building a deck is a fantastic idea. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process, from planning and designing your deck to the finishing touches. So grab your tools and let’s get started!

1. Planning and Designing Your Deck

Before you start hammering nails, it’s essential to plan and design your deck properly. Consider factors such as the deck’s size, shape, location, and the purpose it will serve. Take measurements, sketch out your design, and obtain any necessary permits. Our experts at East Valley Handyman can assist you in creating a deck design that perfectly matches your vision.

2. Gathering Materials and Tools

Once you have your deck design in place, it’s time to gather the materials and tools you’ll need. Common materials include pressure-treated lumber, deck screws, joist hangers, concrete footings, and post anchors. Remember to choose high-quality materials for durability and longevity. As for tools, you’ll require a circular saw, drill, level, tape measure, and more. Don’t forget to wear appropriate safety gear throughout the construction process.

3. Preparing the Site

Preparing the site is crucial for ensuring a stable and long-lasting deck. Start by clearing the area of any vegetation, rocks, or debris. Then, mark the deck’s perimeter using stakes and string, ensuring it is level. Dig holes for the footings and install them according to local building codes. Proper site preparation sets the foundation for a solid deck structure.

4. Building the Deck Frame

With the site prepared, it’s time to construct the deck frame. Begin by attaching ledger boards to your house’s exterior, ensuring they are securely fastened. Next, install the support beams and joists, following your design’s specifications. Double-check the level and spacing as you go. Building a sturdy frame is vital for the deck’s structural integrity.

5. Installing Decking Boards

Now comes the exciting part—installing the decking boards that will create the surface of your deck. Opt for wood or composite boards, considering factors like aesthetics, maintenance, and budget. Begin installation at one end, securing each board with deck screws or hidden fasteners. Maintain consistent spacing between boards for a professional look.

6. Adding Railings and Balusters

Railings and balusters not only provide safety but also contribute to the deck’s visual appeal. Check your local building codes for height and spacing requirements. Install posts, attach the top and bottom rails, and insert balusters or spindles between them. Consider using decorative elements to add a personal touch to your deck design.

7. Applying Finishes and Stains

To protect your deck from the elements and enhance its appearance, applying finishes and stains is essential. Choose a high-quality deck sealer or stain that suits your desired look. Clean the deck thoroughly before application and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Regularly maintaining the finish will ensure your deck remains beautiful and protected for years to come.

8. Deck Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance is crucial for the longevity of your deck. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly clean your deck by sweeping away debris and washing with a mild detergent.
  • Inspect for any signs of damage or wear, such as loose boards or rusted fasteners.
  • Reapply a protective finish every few years to maintain the deck’s appearance and protect it from the elements.
  • Avoid using sharp objects or abrasive cleaners that could damage the deck’s surface.

FAQ Section

Q1: Do I need a permit to build a deck? A1: The need for a permit varies depending on your location and the size of the deck. Contact your local building department to determine the specific requirements for your area.

Q2: How long does it take to build a deck? A2: The time required to build a deck depends on its size, complexity, and your experience level. It can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Q3: Can I build a deck myself, or should I hire a professional? A3: Building a deck yourself is possible if you have the necessary skills and knowledge. However, hiring a professional like East Valley Handyman ensures a high-quality result and saves you time and effort.

Q4: What is the best decking material? A4: The best decking material depends on your preferences, budget, and desired maintenance level. Common options include pressure-treated wood, composite decking, and tropical hardwoods.

Q5: How much does it cost to build a deck? A5: The cost of building a deck varies widely based on factors such as size, materials used, design complexity, and labor costs. It’s best to request a quote from East Valley Handyman to get an accurate estimate for your specific project.


Building a deck is an exciting project that can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and functional area for relaxation and entertainment. By following the steps outlined in this handyman’s guide, you’ll be well-equipped to take on the task with confidence. If you need professional assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to East Valley Handyman at 480-500-6935 or visit our website at to request our services. Let’s create the deck of your dreams together!