Updated: Mar 19
With it not only serving the function to entertain people outdoors, a raised deck also serves a very cosmetic purpose by adding some elevation variety to the design. With it sometimes also being called an elevated deck, the purpose that this serves is as an extension to your indoor space by taking the excitement or relaxation to the outdoors where you can enjoy the fresh air.
Building an Elevated Deck: Step by Step
Start by looking for design inspiration on websites or Pinterest boards to see what might tickle your fancy. Be sure to pick one that speaks your design language or appeals to you and add addition to the deck design to make it your own. There are several websites that would have schematics available for the design process
You can use our deck design tool which is absolutely free and helps you explore your creativity with the only limitations being your imagination.
Your budget depends entirely on the type of materials you choose, the size of your deck and what types of add ons one may want to consider. Steps and railings are a must for the elevated decks for safety purposes but there are some unnecessary features that are nice to have but not essential such as lighting or electrical works must also be factored in the budget process.
Building a deck above ground requires a building permit in most cities, towns, and neighborhoods. To make sure your deck complies with safety regulations and local building codes, you will need to provide blueprints of your deck to the contractor, so they can have them on file.
Once you have a permit in your hand, you should be buying materials for the deck. You can purchase materials such as stone deck tiles, composite decking and wooden decking all online. You can even order samples from websites to see if they really fit your needs.
You can go the old fashioned route and head on to a hardware store to buy said materials. Don't hesitate in asking the staff for help as they would help you find the right materials that you require such as lumber, concrete etc.
First attach a ledger board to your house. The size that you would require depends on the size of a deck. For example a 2’ x 12’ ledger is required for a 24’ x 14’ deck and so on. Make sure to attach your ledger board properly with bolts and not screws. Make sure this meets the building code requirements as improperly attaching your ledger board can cause structural failures.
Use a string to outline the deck footings. Four footings are commonly used for any typical deck. This is important for stability. You can dig footings by hand or rent a power auger for the purpose. Each footing should be 12 inch wide and 48 inch deep to get below the frost line.
Position your posts vertically in each footing and double check that they are plumb. Proceed to pouring concrete to secure the footing properly but before that make sure that they are exactly vertical.
Use the bags of concrete that you have purchased and premix using a small cement mixer that you can rent. You can also mix the amount required in a wheelbarrow and pour it into the holes to hold the posts. Allow the concrete to set properly which takes around 48 hours.
Once the concrete is cured, brace the posts by adding rim joists or beams. Add joist hangers to the inner section
Use permanent joists to join the joists to the ledger to increase the load bearing on your deck.
Start laying your deck boards (temporarily) in the middle of the deck. The first row should be installed perpendicular to the joists at the ledger beam (or along the side of the house). As a first DIY project, you may not want to try an ambitious pattern inlay. Even DIY beginners can achieve a polished look by staggering their adjacent decking rows. This is a simple way to create a visually pleasing pattern.
You can buy a prefabricated deck stairs or build on yourself using tutorials. You'll need a concrete pad for your stairs that should be 4 inches thick.
Make one footing for a post to support the upper stair landing and four footings to support the stairs.
Attack post anchors to deck footings for steady stairs.
Plumb your posts and install the landing frame and then attach decking to joists.
Use stringers on your stairs to provide treads.
Install guard and handrails to stairs. This is important to comply with the building code.
Measure your railing post and railing. Posts should be 4-8 feet apart and 36-42 inches. Leave extra room for caps if you're planning to use caps however they are a very aesthetic choice.