Deck Building Tips

Any person who spent his or her childhood building tree houses and playing with Dads hammer and nails will look forward to the day they can build their own deck on the back of their house. It harks back to happy times in the backyard, conjuring up club rules and climbing rickety ladders that inevitably inserted splinters into vulnerable knees and hands.

Now since building a deck is a job that requires some basic to intermediate carpentry skills, it will be assumed here that you have all the technical knowledge you need. These deck building tips are handy reminders of the peripheral considerations that you may overlook in your excitement to get the job done. Essentially, these are deck building tips for the gung-ho, jigsaw-wielding, tool belt-wearing carpenter wannabe who needs to take a deep breath, regroup and slow down.

One of the most important deck building tips involves gaining local approval for your deck for starters. You could build the most technically and structurally sound deck, only to have to pull it down if it does not comply with the building codes in your area. Do everything by the book to avoid disappointment and a waste of time, effort and money.


    1. Make sure you have the right tools for the job at your disposal. Stop/starting a project can be frustrating and time consuming.
    2. Take a look at the weather channel each night so you know if the next day will be better for indoor assembly or actual building onsite.
    3. If you do not have all the skills required to put all the deck building tips into practice, enlist the help of someone who does. You can be just as useful as a laborer and you will learn a great deal for your next project.
    4. Have someone on hand to help you with heavy lifting.
    5. Order all your materials in advance so that everything you need is available when you need it.
    6. Measure out all dimensions accurately.
    7. Follow the plan accurately.

Safety considerations

    8. Always unplug power tools when not in use. This includes when you are changing bits or blades, or when you take a break.
    9. Ensure all power tools are properly grounded.
    10. Keeping bits and blades sharp is a safety issue, not just a convenience one.
    11. Use safety goggles when utilizing power tools.
    12. Always use the right tool for the task at hand.
    13. Keep electrical cords out of the way when using power tools.
    14. Protect your ears from high noise levels from electrical tools.
    15. Know where you are digging before you put the shovel into the dirt. Be aware of electrical cabling and plumbing pipes.
    16. Protect your feet with steel-capped boots.
    17. When carrying long planks of timber, watch where you are walking.

No matter how experienced you feel you are, all of the above deck building tips are vital to ensure your project reaches completion without risk to life and limb and without causing grief to your local authorities.

If you are unsure of any step in the process, ask someone who is knowledgeable. Staff at your hardware store or building materials supplier can give you instant deck building tips just by asking and may be able to recommend more efficient ways of doing things, or products that will be easier to use. The more advice you can take on board, the more smooth sailing you will experience.

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