A person building a deck frame.

Everything to Know About Building a Deck

How to Build a Deck Frame

If you are interested in upgrading your yard and taking it to the next level, then a raised timber deck could be just the thing for you. Even though many people make deck-building look like a breeze, should you attempt it yourself? We’ll let you decide when we teach you how to build a deck.

In this guide, we’ll go over all the steps needed in building your deck frame, should you decide to do it yourself.

Hiring a Professional vs. Doing It Yourself

Depending on the time and resources available, you may consider hiring a professional or taking on the project yourself. There are pros and cons to both options.

Hiring a Professional

Asking a professional to do the job will be more costly, but there are some significant trade-offs, too. Their work is more efficient, faster, and of higher quality.

A professional can also provide you with the assurance that they are building according to the manufacturer’s specifications. They are familiar with the materials and can ensure that the installation is correct while meeting local building requirements.

Doing It Yourself

The most significant benefit of any DIY is that it is much more affordable since you’ll be saving on labor costs. By purchasing all of the materials needed yourself, you will sidestep any markups that the building company would have charged.

Before you make the final cost calculation, remember to consider whether you have all the tools necessary for the job. Renting or buying them could increase the final price.

A DIY project also allows you to have full control over the deck frame's design and planning. You can work on your own timeline, and there will be no stress of communication between contractors. Plus, you will learn a new skill and all the ins and outs of how to build a deck frame.

What Will You Need?

To start your project, you will need several tools and materials. This is to ensure the deck is built to be durable and of high quality.

Tools, supplies, and materials list:

  • Timber
  • Decking boards
  • Concrete blocks
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Nails and screws
  • Spirit level
  • Circular saw
  • Shovel
  • Post hole digger
  • Drill
  • Joist hanger and nails
  • Reinforcing corner brackets

When choosing your timber, be sure to pick pre-treated, pre-finished, or tantalized (chemical treatment to preserve the wood) timber that will last a couple of years and be protected from rotting.

If you do not have all the power tools and materials needed, you can consider renting it, borrowing it from a neighbor, or purchasing it. All tools are reusable for future projects.

Instructions: How to Build a Deck Frame

Let’s go through all the steps you’ll have to go through when building your deck.


In this phase of your DIY project, you will design and draw your plans for the deck. You will need to determine the location and placement of your deck in your yard. This requires accurately measuring the area where you will install it. Having the correct measurements will ensure you build the right-sized structure.
Remember to check for any restrictions and consult a building inspector about any building requirements or building permits that might be needed. Select the materials that you will be working with.


Step 1
Your first step in this phase is to clear the area you will be using of all vegetation. Ensure that the site is level.
Step 2
Measure and cut the timber to the required lengths and join the pieces using exterior wood screws. It is important to check that the frame is square and not wobbly.
Step 3
Cut four posts to the desired height that you want to raise the frame. Screw these to the inside of each corner of the frame, checking that they are flush with the top.

Place concrete blocks underneath each post to ensure a stable base, especially if the deck will be resting on grass or soil. Use the spirit level to check that the frame is level.
Step 4
Time to add the joists to your frame. Joists are the horizontal pieces of wood that complete the frame. They are responsible for supporting the most weight of the deck. The size of the deck will determine how many joists are needed. Space them between 16 inches and 24 inches from each other.

Mark the positions of your joists and screw them into place from the outside of the frame. You can support the joists by placing additional posts underneath them at one-meter intervals. Use concrete blocks to support them.
Step 5
Once your deck frame is complete, you can add facing by measuring the frame's outer sides, cutting the decking boards accordingly, and screwing it to the frame. Once again, ensure that it is flush with the top.
Step 6
Finish your new deck by laying the decking boards on top of the frame. The decking board must be laid perpendicular to the joists. Attach them to the frame and joists with screws into countersinking screw holes.

A countersink will ensure that the screws do not stand out above the timber, risking possible injuries.

Keep in Mind!

Do not rush any of these steps. Take reasonable precautions when measuring your deck frame and installing it. This will ensure its durability and stability—a sturdy foundation for your decking.