Adding a deck to your home will increase its functional living space. You can have meals outdoors and entertain guests in an area that also adds resale value to your home. A deck patio project can be undertaken by anyone with a few basic carpentry skills.


Step 1

Follow your planned deck dimension to lay out the deck area on the ground using stakes and strings. Mark the corners for placement of the concrete foundation piers and locations for additional piers every 10 feet along the length of the deck.

Step 2

Dig holes 18 inches deep at each pier location. Drop one cylindrical concrete form in each hole. Use a carpenter’s level across the top of the form to ensure it is level. Use string and a line level between each form to ensure they are the same height. Mix concrete and fill the forms. Set post bases in the concrete in the center of each pier so that rim joists can be laid upon them. Let the concrete cure.

Step 3

Cut 2-by-10 side and front rim joists to size, according to your planned deck dimensions. Cut enough to use double-rim joists on the side and front (see illustration). Set double front joists in the post bases and fasten securely with the included hardware. Nail or screw double joist hangers to the front rim joists; flush at each end.

Step 4

Set the double-end joists in the joist hangars; fasten with screws or nails. Set joist hangers every 16 inches on center on the side joists for the interior joists. Measure and cut 2-by-6 lumber to a length of 117 inches for the interior joists. Set them in the hangars and fasten.


Step 5

Cut 2-by-4 lumber to length to for the dimensions of your planned deck, planning on a 1-inch overhang off the front of the deck. Start at one end; nail or screw the decking to the joists.

Step 6

Add trim boards to the front and side joists. Stain or paint the deck.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don’t leave any space between the decking boards. Butt them up flush against one another. Natural drying and shrinking will produce approximately a 1/8-inch gap.

Things Needed

  • Stakes
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Cylindrical concrete forms
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Ready-mix concrete
  • Post Bases
  • Joist hangers
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Electric drill
  • Galvanized nails or screws
  • Pressure-treated 2-by-10, 2-by-6 and 2-by-4 lumber

Photo Credits

  • Special Thanks to Ricardo Marquez for the lovely photo!