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Ready to build your deck?

Ready to build your deck?

Preparing for building a wooden deck

Before building a wooden deck, it is important to research and familiarize yourself with the local building codes and regulation. Each city or county office may have its own building code or inspection department that issues permits for deck construction. While not all deck building projects require a permit, it is crucial to determine if your project falls within the permit requirements based on the size and other factors. For example if you are in Alberta, the Alberta Building Code (ABC) sets the minimum regulations for public health, fire safety, and structural sufficiency. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your deck plans comply with these regulations to ensure a safe and legal construction process.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the local building codes and regulations, the next step in building a wooden deck is to determine the size and layout of the deck. Consider the available space in your yard and any specific requirements or preferences you may have. Take into account the size of the deck boards, typically 5-1/2 inches wide, when planning the deck size. This will help you create a deck that maximizes the use of space and fits your needs. Additionally, consult with a professional if you need to or utilize online resources to create a detailed deck plan that includes the dimensions and layout of the deck, as well as any additional features you wish to incorporate.

Gathering the necessary tools and materials is the next crucial step in building a wooden deck. Some essential tools for deck construction are saws!  All different kinds of saws include a circular saw, table saw and a, power miter saw. Make sure you have several types of shovels, some type of post-hole digger either manual, electric or gas powered, plus a cement mixer or wheelbarrow. These tools will help you accurately measure and cut the materials, dig post holes, and mix concrete if necessary. In terms of materials, you will need deck boards, joists, beams, posts, concrete footings, screws, and other hardware. It is important to ensure that you have all the necessary tools and materials before starting the construction process to avoid delays and ensure a smooth building experience.

Building the wooden deck

The first step in building a wooden deck is to clear the area and prepare the ground. This involves measuring the area where the deck will be built and ensuring that it is level and free of any obstruction. You can dig the footings for the support posts manually using a shovel or a mechanical excavator.  Either way, call appropriate authorities before you dig to ensure that it is safe to dig! The depth of the footings will depend on the local building codes and the type of soil in your area but once the ground is prepared, you can proceed to the next step of installing the support posts and framing.

Installing the support posts and framing is a crucial step in building a sturdy and durable deck. The support posts should be set in the ground at the designated locations and secured with concrete footings. The framing, which includes beams and joists, provides the structural support for the deck. Careful measurements and precise cuts are necessary to ensure that the support posts and framing are properly installed. After the support posts and framing are in place, the next step is to install the decking boards. The type of wood chosen for the decking boards will depend on personal preference and budget. Cedar and pressure-treated lumber are popular choices for wooden decks due to their durability and resistance to rot and insect damage. Before installing the decking boards, it is important to the framing is level and properly aligned. Once the framing is in place, you can proceed to attach the deck boards and add the finishing touches.

Attaching the deck boards is the final step in building a wooden deck. Start by laying the boards perpendicular to the framing, leaving a small gap between each board for water drainage. Secure the boards to the framing using deck screws or nails, ensuring that they are evenly spaced and aligned. Once the deck boards are in place, you can add finishing touches such as railings, stairs, and decorative elements. Consider updating the railings with metal balusters to give your deck a unique look. Finally, apply a protective finish to the wood to enhance its durability and appearance. By following these steps, you can successfully build a wooden deck.

In conclusion, building a wooden deck requires careful preparation and adherence to local building codes and regulations. By researching and determining the size and layout of the deck, gathering the necessary tools and materials, and following the step-by-step process of clearing the area, installing support posts and framing, and attaching deck boards, a beautiful and functional outdoor space can be created. With proper planning and execution, homeowners can enjoy their new wooden deck for years to come. 

But, if you want to increase your confidence when following these steps building your deck, book a deck building class at the DIY Training Center first.  Going through all these steps while you are doing hands-on training, building the deck in the training center will put you miles ahead for your own project.  Register today at!

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