Create a DIY Backyard Deck You’ll Love for Years to Come

March 5, 2024

Sometimes, the best adventures begin right in your own backyard. Are you ready to transform your backyard into the ultimate hangout spot? Discover how you can tackle your own DIY Backyard Deck with confidence and create a sturdy, long-lasting oasis for years of outdoor fun. 

Imagine stepping into your backyard and being greeted by the warmth of your very own DIY deck – a space where laughter echoes and memories are made. With a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of determination, you can turn this dream into a reality. 

Whether you’re hosting summer barbecues or simply unwinding under the stars, a DIY deck is the perfect setting for endless moments of joy and relaxation. Remember, this project may seem daunting at first, but with a little perseverance and a whole lot of determination, you’ll be lounging on your brand-new deck in no time!

Supplies to Build a DIY Backyard Deck 

  • Pressure-treated lumber (deck boards, joists, beams, posts)
  • Concrete mix
  • Deck screws
  • Joist hangers
  • Post anchors
  • Level
  • Saw (circular or miter)
  • Drill/driver
  • Tape measure
  • Safety gear (gloves, goggles)

How to Make the DIY Backyard Deck of Your Dreams

  • Plan and design your deck layout, considering factors like size, shape, and location. You’re also going to need to obtain any necessary permits and check local building codes before proceeding. 
  • Mark the location of your footings and dig holes using a post hole digger or narrow shovel. We started with a footer at each corner of the deck, and 8 feet between each footer. You’ll want the holes to be “deeper than the frost line” but we did ours about a foot deep. 
  • Pour concrete into the holes to create solid footings, ensuring they’re level and properly aligned. Allow the concrete to set according to the instructions for your specific concrete. 
  • Install posts and beams using post anchors and joist hangers, ensuring they’re securely attached.
  • Attach joists to the beams using deck screws, spacing them according to your deck design and local building codes.
  • Lay deck boards perpendicular to the joists, leaving space between each board for drainage and expansion.
  • Secure deck boards using deck screws, ensuring they’re evenly spaced and flush with the edges.
  • Install railings, if desired, using railing posts and balusters. We decided not to do a railing right now, but it’s something we can add later if we want. 
  • Add finishing touches like stairs, rail caps, and decorative elements to personalize your deck.

Tips and Tricks

  • Take your time with planning and preparation to ensure a smooth building process.
  • Invest in high-quality materials for a sturdy and long-lasting deck.
  • Use a level frequently to ensure your deck is even and properly aligned.
  • Consider adding a waterproof sealant to protect your deck from the elements.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek advice from professionals  if you encounter challenges along the way.

How much does it cost to build a DIY backyard deck?

The cost of building a DIY backyard deck can vary widely depending on factors such as the size, materials used, and any additional features incorporated into the design. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $30 per square foot for materials alone. For a standard 12×12-foot deck, this translates to a total material cost ranging from $1,440 to $4,320. Keep in mind that this estimate doesn’t include expenses for tools, permits, labor if you choose to hire assistance, or any special features like railings, stairs, or built-in seating. Our deck ended up costing about $3000 though we did need to purchase some tools through the process. Carefully planning your project, comparing material prices, and opting for cost-effective alternatives, you can create a beautiful backyard retreat without breaking the bank.

What tools do I need to build a DIY deck, and can I rent them if I don’t own them?

To build a DIY deck, you’ll need a few tools to help you through the process. Essential tools include a circular saw or miter saw for cutting lumber, a drill/driver for driving screws, a post hole digger for creating holes for footings, a level for ensuring your deck is even and properly aligned, a tape measure for accurate measurements, and safety gear such as gloves and goggles. You might also need a post hole auger for larger projects and joist hangers to secure joists to beams. Many of these tools can be rented from local hardware stores if you don’t own them. Renting tools allows you to access the necessary equipment without the expense of purchasing them outright,, which is great if you aren’t a frequent DIY’er.

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