Building a Deck from Scratch? Here’s How to Get Started

You may be under the impression that with enough wood and screws, anyone can start building a deck from scratch.Unfortunately, not being properly prepared with the tools and knowledge needed can make a DIY deck building project a nightmare. Here are some helpful tips from the pros to ensure you’re on the right track with your upcoming deck project.

Building a Deck from Scratch




Get All Necessary Permits when Building a Deck from Scratch

One of the first things you need to confirm before building a deck from scratch is that your neighborhood, community, or city allows for the building of decks in your residential area. You’ll save time and money when you do your research ahead of time and obtain all permits that are necessary to build your new deck.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

One of the biggest issues homeowners come across when attempting do-it-yourself home projects has to do with sizing. Measuring your space and the deck materials you will be using is essential to a sturdy, secure, and beautiful deck. Be prepared for some critical thinking and problem solving throughout the deck building process. Make it a habit to measure at least twice before cutting materials, so you don’t end up wasting any extra time or money.

Consider the Purpose of Your Deck

It’s also helpful to spend a significant amount of time deciding what you truly want from your deck once it’s built. Make a list of the things you want to do and enjoy on your deck and ensure your deck design allows for each activity. Ask yourself the following questions when writing your list:

  • Do I want to eat meals on the deck?

If yes, be sure to include a dining area.

  • Will there be kids or young children using the deck?

If yes, add necessary safety features like railings to your design.

  •  Do I want to use my deck when it’s raining?

If yes, consider including a screened-in area or extending your roof.

  •  Will I be using the deck at night?

If yes, choose lighting styles early and consider incorporating in-floor lights.

  •  Do I want to host events on the deck?

If yes, incorporate items like an outdoor kitchen or built-in seating in your design.

Get the Deck-Building Tools and Materials You Need


Without the right decking material, hand tools, and hardware, your dream deck will be difficult to bring to life. At J.F. Johnson Lumber Company, we’ve got everything you need to design and built the perfect deck for your home. Contact us today to learn more about the engineered lumber and building tools we have in stock.


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