Can You Build Your Own Deck


Buying a home with an enormous backyard is a definite thrill. So much space! There’s room for your dog, a swingset for your 5-year-old, and a deck! For many of us, this is the holy grail. And you — you brave adventurer, you — want to build it yourself.

And we’ve got faith in you. We do. But decks are a huge undertaking, and assuming you can get ‘er done with just a drill and a good attitude is a near-guarantee of disaster. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means you need to pay extra attention with this DIY project. (And remember: Always consult your local building code first and research each element extensively before you start building.)

So, want to learn how to build a deck? Look out for these seven signs you’re building your deck wrong — and some expert tips on how to reverse course.

1. You’re being unrealistic

Sorry, beginners. A deck should never be your first major construction project. Period. End of story. Just stop now. Hire a pro.

“You have to know what your skills are,” says Rusty Meador, a contractor and handyman in Leland, NC. “If you’ve never built a small patio deck, then you’re going to struggle with a 20-foot-by-10-foot patio deck.”

There’s something to be said for learning on the job, but building a major platform — one that will eventually be filled with family and guests — isn’t the time. You don’t want to put anyone’s life in danger, do you? (This is a rhetorical question.)

“You’re building something that not just has people walking on it, but could be loaded down with 4 feet of snow,” says Kevin Pleasants, the operations manager for Handy, an on-demand handyman and housecleaning app. “Ideally, you should have worked with concrete before and be really confident with all sorts of leveling.”

Read the full article here: