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Building a Deck

How To Build a Composite Deck

Learn how to build a deck so nice that it can be enjoyed year-round.

More in Outdoors

  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty

    Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Dig the Holes

Use a posthole digger to dig holes for caissons. Pour concrete into the holes and smooth it with a float. Allow 24 hours for the concrete to cure.

Step 2: Install the Ledger Board and Post Anchors

Use a level and install a ledger board onto the house (Image 1). This will secure the deck to the house. Attach post anchors to the concrete caissons. Attach 4x4 posts to the anchors (Image 2). Attach a center beam to the post hangers and add an end beam (Image 3).

Step 3: Add the Joist Hangers

Install joist hangers every 6 inches or so on your ledger board and your end beam (Image 1). Build a joist jig out of your framing lumber so that your joist hangers are consistent (Image 2). Always wear eye protection and follow proper safety precautions when working with power tools or pneumatic tools. Mark and cut your joists to run from the ledger board to the end beams. Seat the joists into the hangers and fasten with nails (Image 3). Check your level, square and plumb often.

Step 4: Install the Decking

When all your joists are in (Image 1), you can begin your decking. Composite decking is a great low-maintenance material (Image 2). Secure the first plank with screws. Special fasteners called Tiger Claws secure the remaining planks (Image 3). These are hidden under the planks. Tap the planks into place with a rubber mallet (Image 4) and then fasten. Stagger the boards as you work. When all the planks are in position, cut the boards strait with a circular saw (Image 5). Finish with stairs and railings.

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