Building a ground-level deck is one of the best ways to add usable outdoor space to your home. Not only does it provide a comfortable spot for relaxing and entertaining, but it’s relatively easy to construct and doesn’t require any significant carpentry skills. Whether you’re looking to build a small, intimate gathering spot or an expansive multi-tiered structure, this guide will help walk you through the process step by step.
A deck is a flat surface that can be constructed outdoors and connected to your house or other building structures. It can be made of various materials such as pressure-treated lumber, composite boards, vinyl planks, aluminum planks and more. Decks are typically elevated off the ground, but they can also be built at ground level if desired. Many benefits come with having a deck – from increasing home value and curb appeal to giving you more living space in which to entertain guests or spend time with family outdoors.
Benefits of Building A Deck On The Ground
Having a deck brings many advantages that contribute positively to your quality of life:
- Increase Home Value: Adding a deck not only adds aesthetic value to your property but can also increase its resale value should you decide to sell in the future.
- Entertaining Space: Having an outdoor area where friends and family can gather for barbecues, parties or just some quality time makes for great memories without ever having left the comfort of your backyard!
- Enjoyable Outdoor Spot: Whether you use it for reading books on lazy afternoons or hosting movie nights under starry skies, decks are great spaces for relaxation and fun activities alike.
What To Consider When Building A Ground Level Deck
Before beginning construction on any ground-level deck project there are several factors worth taking into consideration first:
- Permits & Regulations: Depending on where you live there may be certain regulations in place regarding decks so do some research ahead of time before starting any project! You may need permits from local authorities as well so make sure everything is taken care of beforehand.
- Size & Shape: Measure out how much space you have available to determine what size and shape works best for your needs – keep in mind that larger decks require additional materials/labor so budget accordingly!
- Materials & Tools: Depending on what type of material you choose (wood/composite/vinyl etc.), different tools might be needed such as saws/drills/hammers etc., so make sure these items are all accounted for ahead of time too!
Gather Materials And Tools Needed For Construction
Once all necessary permits have been obtained and measurements have been taken, now it’s time to collect all necessary materials and tools required for construction:
- Pressure-treated lumber: Used for the frame of the deck and comes in various sizes/shapes.
- Deck boards: Available in wood, composite or vinyl, depending on your preference.
- Fasteners: This includes nails, screws and other connectors to hold pieces together.
- Other materials such as sealant/stain for finishing touches may also be necessary depending on what type of decking material you choose!
- Tape measure & carpenter’s square: For measuring out dimensions and angles correctly.
- Drill & circular saw: To make holes and cut pieces accurately.
- Hammer & level: For hammering nails into place and making sure posts/floor joists are level respectively.
- Safety equipment (e.g goggles, gloves): Wearing appropriate safety gear during any construction project is essential!
Measure And Mark Area For Deck Construction
Once all necessary supplies have been gathered it’s time to begin measurements for the area where you want your deck to be located:
- Use a tape measure or carpenter’s square to measure out the length, width and height of space desired – mark off areas with stakes or string as needed to visualize how much space will be taken up by the finished product!
- Make sure that there isn’t anything obstructing underneath where the deck will be built – check for any buried pipes/wires before proceeding with construction as these can cause damage if not accounted for properly beforehand!
Digging Holes For Footings And Posts
Before erecting posts, it is important to dig holes first to secure footings – this helps ensure stability when putting up walls/rails later on down the line
- Using a shovel dig out holes around 12 inches wide by 12 inches deep in each corner of where the deck will be constructed – once done fill each hole with concrete so that posts can sit firmly inside them when being secured later!
- Double-check that all holes are leveled correctly before moving on to the next step – use a spirit level if needed here so everything is lined up straightly before continuing onward!
Setting Posts In Place
Now that footings are set it’s time to begin erecting posts – this helps define shape/size boundaries of ground-level decks while providing a support structure for floor joists (if necessary)
- Place the post into each pre-dug hole then fill the remaining spaces with dirt or gravel – leave about a 1-inch gap between the bottom edge of the post and the surface below so water doesn’t accumulate near the base which could lead to rotting!
- Secure each post firmly in place using braces or stakes – use a level again here if needed make sure everything is lined up correctly before moving on to the next step!
Building Floor Frame
Depending on the size/shape of your deck floor framing may be necessary – this helps provide structural integrity while keeping everything even and level
- Place beams along the perimeter of where the deck will be located – these should be placed on top of posts so that joists can rest comfortably on them without any wobbling.
- Lay down joists in a parallel pattern across the top of beams – use nails or screws to attach securely then add diagonal bracing if needed (this is usually only required for larger decks).
Attaching Deck Boards
Once the frame is complete it’s time to begin adding boards – this will give more definition/style to the overall look of the ground-level deck
- Start by installing support boards along the edges first – use a saw to cut pieces as needed then fasten them into place with nails or screws.
- Begin attaching boards from one end to another making sure they are evenly spaced apart – use a power drill here if needed for faster results.
Finishing Touches To Deck On The Ground
Once all boards have been attached it’s time for some final touches that will give your finished product an extra bit of polish and protection against inclement weather.
- Apply sealant or stain onto wood surfaces – this not only enhances color but also guards against moisture damage.
- Cut off any jagged edges using an electric saw – make sure all blades are sharp before beginning so there aren’t any accidents during the process.
- Finally, clean up any debris left behind from construction such as sawdust/scraps etc. – make sure the area is tidy before concluding the work day so there isn’t anything left behind that could cause injury later down the line.
How To Build A Deck On The Ground Conclusion
Building a ground-level deck can be a rewarding experience and gives you extra outdoor space to enjoy with family and friends. Before beginning, however, make sure all necessary permits have been obtained and safety equipment is worn at all times during construction. Gather appropriate materials and tools beforehand, measure out desired space correctly, dig holes for footings, set posts in place then construct floor frame before attaching boards. Once done apply sealant or stain for finishing touches then clean up the area afterward – now you should have a beautiful new deck ready for entertaining guests outdoors in no time.