This Simple Deck is a Weekend Project
All you need are basic carpentry tools and a relatively flat area in your yard or garden. The foundation is nothing more than 4×6 treated timbers buried in the soil, with decorative treated joists and construction-grade cedar decking and a bench. Materials will cost only around $700. Follow the instructions along with the photos for detailed measurements and building techniques. Our building supplies are color-coded (in Project PDFs below) for easier visual understanding of the instructions, don’t worry we wouldn’t actually paint a deck these colors! Plus, check out our deck building tips and tricks.
1. Dig Into Soil and Lay Timbers
Dig the 4×6 timbers into the soil, leaving about 1-1/2 in. of the top exposed. The timbers must be parallel and the diagonal measurements must be equal. Check out Figure A, in Project PDFs below for depth dimensions.
2. Cut Decorative Curve
Next, cut each treated 2x6joist to 10 ft. Cut the decorative curve on each end as shown before installing them onto the 4×6 treated timbers.
3. Plan Out Joist Spacing
Lay out the joist spacing so the joists are on 16-in. centers. Cut the blocks to fit between the joists. The first set of blocks (one on each side) will be 13-1/4 in., while the remainder will be 14-1/2 in. long. Toenail each joist to the timber as shown. Be sure the ends of all the joists align with each other as you toenail them in place.
4. Place Steel Brackets
Nail your steel corner brackets to the joists and each block between with 1-1/4 in. galvanized joist hanger nails. The blocks add stability and give the deck a finished look.
5. Nail on Decking
Start nailing the 2×6 decking from one side, leaving a 1-1/2 in. overhang. Keep the decking straight and use a 16d galvanized nail as a spacer. Depending on the spacing, you may need to rip the last piece of decking to maintain the 1-1/2 in. overhang.
6. Crosscut Lengths
Once the decking is nailed, crosscut the lengths, leaving a 1-1/2 in. overhang. Be sure to use a chalk line to establish a straight guideline before cutting.
7. Mark Out Bench Supports
Cut the bench supports from 2×12 lumber. Notch the decking to accept the bench supports. Be sure to toenail the back side of the seat support to the decking for added stability.
8. Nail on Bench Supports and Top
Be sure the supports are square to the deck surface, then screw the 2×6 bench tops to the supports with 3-in. galvanized screws.
If you want to build your deck out of a different type of wood check out our guide for comparing wood deck options: cedar, pressure treated and composite decking.
Click the links below to download the construction drawings and materials list for this project.