Wednesday, June 15, 2022
HomeBuildHow To Build A Small Wood Patio Deck

How To Build A Small Wood Patio Deck

Is It Cheaper To Build A Deck Or Patio

Building a Simple Wood Deck with LED Lights

Want to enhance your outdoor space, but dont know how? A great way to start is by understanding the difference between a deck and a patio. Its also important to learn about factors relevant to each such as costs, differences, returns, advantages and disadvantages, or both. Then, deciding which is best for your home!

Step 2 Place The Support Posts In The Blocks

The next step was to cut some 4×4 posts to stand in the center of each block and then run some 2×6 support boards from left to right. The length of these boards totally depends on how big your deck is.

We used a lot of 16 ones which we cut a little short, but if you arent having to work around an AC unit and some concrete stairs as we did, I wouldnt cut them at all and would just center the deck to your space.

Dont have a monster truck to haul 16-foot boards for your how to build a deck step by step project?


Do what I did and rent a flatbed truck from Home Depot for $19 bucks!

Here is why it doesnt matter if the blocks are at the same height you simply cut the 4×4 posts to the height you want.

You can get all fancy with laser levels if you want. Or use that string that leaves a chalk mark.

However, all we did was stand the 4×4 posts up gently . Then we stood one of our 2×8 support boards on the top of the end one while one of us held the other end.

Place your level on top of the support board and when its level, just use a pencil to mark where the top of the support board is on the other 4×4 posts.


Once your first support board is level then level across for your next support board, leveling across and deep.

Once you get the 4×4 posts set on each end of the support board, go back and put in the ones in between.

Universal Deck Building Tips

No matter what your plans look like, here are a few things that are unchanging.

  • The deck boards should always be bark side up meaning the rings should be turned down.

Theres a debate about this, but it seems pretty logical to me. With the rings turned up, you create a cupping feature which just adds to water damage and warping. So the left board is correct.

  • Spacing between boards is really up to you

I heard both ways. You need to space the deck boards and you shouldnt space the deck boards .


With the deck #1, we used a few nails to space the boards before screwing them down. It left a nice little space which is perfect for dirt and tree debris. But they spread even further over the last 6 months. It looks like a little too much n some places, but its better than dirt!

If I had to do it again, I wouldve spaced the second deck just like the first.

  • Ground contact Pressure Treated Lumber is the only way to go for all your framing, posts, joists, etc.

You could use whatever you like for the deck boards, but we went pressure treated with that too. There are just too many pests and risk of wood rot here in Florida.

There I am! All guts and glory with deck #1 beneath me! My cousin gifted me a 4 level for Christmas and I had never received a gift so perfect hahaha.

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Small Deck Privacy Ideas

This small deck is very suitable for those who want a private place to blow off steam.

Being surrounded by trellis, this deck provides limited view to the outsiders so that they will not see you sitting on the bench of the deck.

You can also use the trellis to grow plants vertically making your deck as a great place for any avid gardeners to have small garden.

You can also play with your kids while teaching them how to take care of plants. It will be such a nice quality-time.

Build Stringers For The Stairs

How to Build a Floating Wood Patio Deck
  • 7.1 – Calculate one stringer for every 16″ to 24″ interval. Measure the height of the deck and divide by 7. Round up to the nearest whole number to get the number of steps.
  • 7.2 – Divide the height by the number of steps to get the height of the riser . Multiply the number of steps by the depth of the stair tread you want, usually 11″ to obtain the length of the stairs .
  • 7.3 – Start with the first step on top of the stringer. Hold a square on the corner of a 2″ Ã 12″ board with the measurement and the measurement. Draw a right angle.
  • 7.4 – Reposition the square and mark the cutting lines for the other steps.
  • 7.5 – Draw the bottom of the stringer.
  • 7.6 – Measure the thickness of the step covering, usually a 2½” board. Remove this measurement from the bottom of the stringer and draw a parallel line.
  • 7.7 – Check your measurements and put an âXâ on the sections to cut.
  • 7.8 – Use a circular saw to cut the stringer and finish the cuts with a jigsaw.
  • 7.9 – Press the stringer against the rim joist to check that it fits.
  • 7.10 – Use this stringer as a template to mark and cut the others.
  • 7.11 – Install a piece of 2″ Ã 4″ under the rim joist at the location of the stairs . In order to ensure a solid nailing base, make sure that the pieces of 2″ Ã 4″ overhang each stringer by at least 4″.
  • 7.12 – Align and install the top of the stringers the 2″ Ã 4″ with corner plates.
  • 7.13 – Lay the base of the stringers flat on the ground.

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How Far Can Deck Joists Span

A deck joist is the cornerstone of the structural part of the deck.

They run longways to form the foundation of your deck with your deck boards often running in the opposite direction on top of the joists. The required joist size is based on how many footings you are using.

Also, know that the allowable span of deck joists is also based on the kind of wood you are using.

2×12 pine joists are fairly common for deck building and if you were spacing yours 16 apart from one another, the total span you should not exceed would be 166.

But other types of wood would not be quite that long, so a span of 15 is safer for almost any kind of wood.


An Oasis At Nightfall

How lovely is this? Just imagine illuminating your backyard patio to extend the use of your outdoor space well into the night. This contruction is a pretty straightforward installation of patio stones with a pathway to a larger “room” that surrounded by loose river rocks as a decorative feature.

The outdoor gazebo is easily purchased at your local home improvement centre. Most gazebos are simple to assemble in either wood or metal. Of course, if you are handy you can design and build your own! Often the metal types of gazebos come with drapery features. The drapery is just an option as it will still look very elegant with onlyl the attached lighting.

In this example the lighting is strung through the upper “rafters” of the gazebo. A nice alternative, particularly if you do not use the drapes, is to wind the lighting around the posts.

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Set Footings And Piers

Set up batter boards and mason’s strings and determine footing locations at the deck’s outside corners and at 8-foot intervals along the front rim joist. Mark each location, then temporarily remove the mason’s strings.


At each footing location, dig a hole wide enough to hold the footing form and deep enough to extend below frost line.

Assemble footing and pier forms according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then position one in each hole. Gently backfill.

To determine each pier’s finish height, run a level line from the top of the ledger to the pier tube. From this line, measure down 1/16 inch per foot of the pier’s distance from the house, plus the height of the rim joist and post base. Mark the form at this point. Repeat for each pier. Trim pier tubes at these marks.

Check the positioning of the piers and adjust if necessary. Fill with concrete, using a shovel to work out air pockets . Allow the concrete to cure for one week.

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EASY How To Build A Small Wood Deck From Scratch

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Small Pool Deck Ideas

Pool deck is such a brilliant idea especially for above-ground pool. It provides an easy access to the pool.

The deck also enables you to lounge by the pool while enjoying the scenery of your backyard. Furthermore, you will be able to keep an eye on your swimming children.

Pool deck is better than stone or concrete can that you usually find in most swimming pools. Pool deck is constructed out of woods that tend to be slip resistant. It is such a perfect deck for lingering over the water of the pool.

What Is A Floating Deck

A floating deck is a deck built on a gravel bed and/or concrete blocks instead of attached to the house. It is a simple, flat deck that is neither anchored to the house or the ground. Floating decks are also rarely higher than two feet off the ground, which means that they do not require railings to be considered safe. Building a floating deck is as simple as preparing flat ground, laying a subframe, and then attaching deck boards. Anyone who can wield a hammer and place a board can make one, and its a great starter carpentry project that will improve your home at the same time.

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Outdoor Kitchen On Deck Costs

If you just want a sink cabinet and counter area that you place your grill next to, you are likely to spend:

  • $600$900 for an entry-level, medium-sized, mid-priced sink
  • $1,500 and up for a larger sink with an exquisite faucet
  • $7,000$17,000 if you want to go all out and create a complete outdoor kitchen with a small fridge, counter space, and cabinets

Prepare For The Freestanding Deck

Coach House Crafting on a budget: Diy pallet wood decking

The biggest part of this job was just clearing the shrubs and levelling out the ground area. There is quite a large slope to this area which is hard to tell in the photo. Getting rid of the roots of the shrubs is important so the shrubs dont regrow through your newly made deck.

Map out the area you want to create and spray paint the ground then start digging out the shrubs or grass.

We decided on a square size of 8×8 feet but the width of our house was a bit smaller than 8 feet so the deck is 91×96.

Next you want to make sure its square and level but using wood markers and string. They mostly just help with as a guide to see where to place everything, to make sure its square and its an easy way to ensure the ground is level.

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Click to read my full disclosure policy.

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Do You Need A Permit To Build A Deck On The Ground

Most likely no is the answer here.

Of course, every city, county, or state in the US may have different building codes. If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, they may have specific rules too.

So its always a good idea to check with them before embarking on any building project.

That being said, the International Residential Code, which most states in the US follow, your deck will not need a building permit if it is

  • Less than 200 square feet
  • Under 30 off the ground
  • Does not serve a required exit door
  • Is not attached to the dwelling

When I built my deck, while it was not a ground-level deck, it wasnt attached to the house, and chances are yours wont be either.

Install The Ledger Board On The House

  • 3.1 – Mark the location of the ledger board according to your plan.
  • 3.2 – Level the ledger board at the correct height, on the wall of the house.
  • 3.3 – Use concrete drill bits to drill holes in the ledger board and wall of the house.
  • 3.4 – Secure the ledger board to the house with masonry anchoring screws.
  • 3.5 – Caulk the top of the ledger board and install galvanized steel deck flashing to prevent water infiltration.

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Other Items To Consider When Building A Deck Or Patio

When deciding between a deck or patio, its also important to keep in mind where you live. Your overall landscape and the climate of your region does have an impact on what option is best for you. A good aspect about decks is that they dont rely on a specific ground environment to support the structure.

However, materials may need more maintenance in exceptionally dry or humid climates. Moving on to patios, their materials can keep their appearance and condition, even in very hot or very cold places. Although, patios are harder to protect from ground moisture or flooding. Therefore, the most adaptable choice would be to build a deck when it comes to landscape and climate conditions.

Paint For Wood Steps And Wood Decks

Build a Tiny Deck

Wood can also become slippery in wet conditions. If you have a patio made from wood, there are a number of products you can use to increase traction, including paint for wood steps and wood decks. Some of these include:

  • Dura Grip

Dura Grip is a floor safety solution designed to provide a highly durable UV-resistant textured paint finish on a variety of substrates including wood and wood decks. The product can also be used to seal unwanted leaks in floors or grout. Once applied, you can walk comfortably on Dura Grip even with bare feet.

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Wood Deck Or Hardscaped Patio: Whats The Difference

A deck, typically made of wood or composite product, is a raised structure, most often attached to your house. Wooden decks can be a few inches or several feet above grade and require a supporting structure underneath. This structure is most often also made of wood but can be made with poured concrete pillars for extra strength.

Step 4 Brace Your Support Boards

With the support boards attached to the posts, they still arent that stable.

They are connected to each other, but not across. Now you simply need to cut some more support boards to run in between the long runs.

Simply measure the distance in between the long support boards, and cut additional support boards to that size and nail in place.

Now your deck should start to get pretty stable when youre done. About every 4 feet should work just fine.

Dave also ran some 2×4s from the front center down thats what those angled boards are. That just added some extra stability.

Bear in mind most of this appears hidden once your deck boards go on, so it doesnt have to be pretty!

Youll notice that Dave added a short section to the front of the deck.

This is basically to have the deck extend a little beyond the first set of posts and blocks basically to make it look nicer.

We just nailed those small cut boards to the last joist attached to the posts and blocks and then added one more joist on the outside.

But lets get back to how to build a deck step by step with pictures.

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Privacy Of Your Deck And Patio Space

Its also quite important to consider privacy when youre thinking about building an outdoor space. To keep a deck private, you can install a screen anywhere and it would look natural. If you want to make your patio a little more private, you can build an enclosure for privacy and year-round comfort. However, theyre somewhat expensive and defenseless against moisture damage. Hence, the most affordable and accessible feature for privacy would be to choose a deck.

Build This Easy Inexpensive Pallet Wood Deck

How to Build a Deck Using Deck Blocks

Indianans Liz and Doug over at Hoosier Handmade pulled off a difficult feat: using pallets as deck boards. Pallet wood works best when it is not used as a contact surface. Along with the attractive cost come unattractive elements such as protruding nails, rough surfaces, wide slats and broken pieces.

Liz and Doug solved a number of problems off the bat by purchasing wood pallets from a supplier, ensuring that they would receive only construction-quality wood and slats spaced close enough so that feet and chair legs would not slip through.

They kept the job super-simple and sane by employing only five major building materials. Most decks require a wide array of hardware, such as hanger brackets and special screws they built a gorgeous deck by using only pallet boards, concrete blocks, sand, gravel and stain.

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