Building a wood patio deck

Wood Patio Deck

A wood patio deck is an area which extends the living space of the home to the outdoors. The patio deck provides homeowner with a place for entertainment, relaxation and to enjoy outdoor living. Although, the construction of a wood patio deck is simple, you still have to get into it some time and careful preparation for the entire process of planning, permitting, framing and decking. Here are the basic steps on how to build a wood patio deck.

You will need:

  1. Post anchors
  2. concrete mix
  3. post hole diggers
  4. joist hangers
  5. 2×8 treated joists
  6. 4×4 treated posts
  7. Hammer
  8. galvanized nails
  9. square
  10. measuring tape
  11. bubble level
  12. string level


  1. Before you start, go to your municipality and check the zoning requirements provided. You also have to check the building submission requirements for decks to determine the drawings that must be submitted for a building permit. Then, check the entire area where the deck will be constructed.
  2. Determine the position of your deck\’s steps, groundwater drain and the view from the deck. Draw your plan on paper; begin with the overall dimensions and location of important parts such as raised section and stairs.
  3. After the drawing plan, plan the foundation of your deck. You have to prepare the building code permit documents and zoning permit.
  4. Don\’t forget to show the deck\’s dimensions on the property survey to demonstrate compliance with setback requirements to obtain a zoning permit.
  5. To start the construction, lay out the foundation locations on the ground. To construct a rectangular grid, use a system of strings and batter boards. Make a frequent check for squareness and measure along the grid lines as well as diagonally to ensure that the deck is not skewed.
  6. Use lag bolts to attach the ledger board to the foundation wall of the home. Set the location of the ledger carefully. Grade the area beneath the deck to establish a smooth surface that drains away from the house.
  7. Install black plastic sheeting over the ground. Use gravel or a regular spacing stones to weight it down. Be careful not to obstruct water flow under the deck.
  8. Use a post hole digger or auger to dig the footings to the proper depth below the frost line. Place the concrete mix into the footings and set the galvanized post anchors into the top of the footing before it sets up.
  9. Set the 4×4 treated posts into the post anchors and then bolt a 2×8 joist to the outside of the 4×4 posts. Install joist hangers at 16 inch intervals within the rectangle.
  10. Next, lay the joists into the joist hangars and secure attach with galvanized nails. Secure the stair stringers to the side of the frame with a 2×2 ledger or toenail attachment.
  11. Before beginning of decking, install the railing verticals. Lag the verticals securely in place at the required intervals.
  12. Install the decking perpendicular to the joists. To allow expansion between decking, use a nail or other spacing device. Adjust the decking elevation to ensure drainage across the face of the deck with a line level and shims. A slope of 1/8 inch per foot is sufficient.
  13. Let the decking overhang the framing during installation. Make a line with a pencil across the decking edge, and trim the edge cleanly with a circular saw.
  14. For a finished appearance, install the trim boards around the edge of the deck. You have to install the trim in two pieces, with the upper piece trimmed out to cover the depth of the joist.
  15. Then, deck the stair treads and runners with a 1 inch nosing on the steps. Install the rest of railing balusters and verticals around the perimeter. Check for any raised screws or nail heads and sand all of the rough edges. Make your wood deck patio more attractive by applying clear finish or stain to the decking and railing.

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