Building a deck is the perfect platform for backyard relaxation and entertaining. There are many different uses for decks from property enhancement to general lounging, and the deck you choose should help accommodate as many purposes as possible. The most typical type of deck is a ground level deck because no matter how elaborate they are the lack of ladders and inclines make the job infinitely easier.
That’s not to say that a project such as this is easy but with the right deck plans and tools you shouldn’t have trouble following directions. Make sure you have a comprehensive set of instructions that will guide you step-by-step through the deck building process.
Gather Your Tools
When you start building your ground level deck you want to make sure you have all the tools and materials the job requires. This is one of the main reasons solid deck plans are so important. The right set of plans will outline all the materials you need from caulking to wood, screws, washers and concrete.
But you’ll also need to make sure you have the tools to use these materials properly. You’ll need everything from a carpenter’s level to measuring tape, a hammer, plumb line and a shovel. Just make sure the tools are nearby and fully charged before you begin the first section.
Now let’s learn how to build a ground level deck!
Step 1: Lay out the deck by using wooden stakes and string to outline the perimeter. This will let you see how large the deck will actually be so you can adjust your measurements if necessary.
Step 2: Prep the ground where the deck will be built by removing the grass and any debris on the ground. Then you will need to use a cover of some sort so that the weeds don’t sprout between the wooden planks once your deck is in place.
Step 3: Start building the foundation of your deck. You may choose to use concrete pulls or blocks, but make sure you choose a foundation that requires footings. This offers the most stability for your deck, particular if you are building a large ground level deck that will need the additional support.
Step 4: Install the ledger board against the wall of your house where the deck will be built. This step will ensure the deck is built at the correct height. You will need to measure and cut the ledger board before attaching it to the house. Once it is attached according to your deck plans, caulk it to seal it and protect it from the elements behind the ledger board.
Step 5: Now it is time to install the beams and the girders, depending on the design of your lower deck. A ground level deck can have a portion above ground or exactly ground level.
Step 6: Install the joists using hangers, but first you will have to cut them if you did not purchase the proper size. Affix one end to the girders and insert nails at the end of each joist.
Step 7: Lay down the deck using spacers to ensure each plank is equal distance from each other. Go slowly to make sure each piece of wood is properly installed. When the deck has been laid down and attached to the deck boards, remove spacers.
Step 8: Now is the time to install the accessories that will make your deck pop. If you intend to install stairs or railings or a lattice base, this is the time to get it done. If these extras have not been planned then do not try to tack them on at the last minute. If they are part of your deck plans, proceed.
Step 8: Finish the deck using paint or stain and top with a coat of sealant to protect against sun damage.
Your specific deck plans may have more or less steps in the instructions so make sure you follow them to the letter.