Building The Deck

  • Advertise with us
Project by Krisztian posted 07-03-2008 01:21 AM 10403 views 6 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Building The Deck

The Imagination…

The Reality…

Deck Design
I modelled the deck in Solidworks and created a drawing for my permit application.

The Size

The deck is 25ft wide X 12 ft deep X 10ft high. The pergola on the left side is about 12ft X 10ft. The stairs come down halfway to a small platform where it takes a 45 deg turn to the final landing.

Material Choice

The material was a toss-up between maintenance free or cedar. I ended up with cedar and I’m really happy that I chose cedar. Fresh cut cedar smells and looks great.

Pressure treated was used to frame the entire deck and the stair stringers. Black aluminum balusters was used for the railings to give it a modern feel.

The final stairs had post caps that matches the post caps in the house.

The Pergola

The pergola was an addition that I insisted on having. It is entirely done for looks. It makes the deck stand out from the neighbor’s deck.

The Stairs

The stairs were one of the hardest part of the project. It took a lot of aligning, adjusting, cutting, measuring, notching, and everything in between to get it to come out right.

It’s worth mentioning because I chose one of the hardest ways to put stairs in – at an angle. This meant that I needed to build a small platform, measure it, calculate the angles, level it, deck it to get it just right.


The material cost is currently 1.5 times more than what I have anticipated. Time to find ways to cut cost down.

Start of project

Staked the first post hole

all post holes staked

It rained badly on Friday night so the ground was very wet and hard to walk in the morning.
The post holes dug
Looking into one of the holes with a 12″ form in place

Some holes are a little deeper than others but I’ll have to let it go. The post holes are partially backfilled to keep the posts stable. I’ll have to finish that up tomorrow… I’m so tired.

Post hole with filled concrete

Signs of relief – filled post holes

So, Home Depot estimated that it would take 7 60lbs bags to fill a 12″ diameter hole that is 48″ deep. I did the math and it was about 32 80lbs bags that I’ll need. (Funny how they sell 80lbs bags but they show you what you need based on 60lbs bags). I decided to get a few extras and I got 35. 35 is what it took to fill 6 holes. Can’t beat perfection.

(1) Pads on footings

(2) 3/4 way into the framing

(3) Post on pads

(4) Front view of the partial structure

(5) Another view of the partial structure

Deck Framing Completed

Joists Hung

Started Decking

Decking to the end

Decking towards the stairs section

Header board

Finished up the skirtboard and decked to the edge of the deck! Yay!
I spent the day cutting stair stringers. Realized that I hung the brackets for the stairs too high! Urgh!

Started removing the brackets, slowly and painfully.

Got all 4 stringers hung and levelled. Yay! I also got the flashing for the pergola installed.

Stairs to First Landing

First set of stairs decked

Started the ground work for the first stairs landing.

Pergola – done. Finished the stairs’ first landing area.

Pergola Rafters and Runners

Decking Completed

Railing Posts

First set of Railing

Ran into a slight problem with the final stairs’ landing. I did not account for the fact that I need to be on the ground with less than 8″ of rise when I cut the stair stringers. Options…

Final stair stringers

The stairs & the first landing

The last stair step

More posts for railings

Options are always a good thing. 1. I could recut the stair stringers (least preferred). 2. I could pour a patio but it requires a 3ft landing space. 3. I could build another step out of what I currently have.

I went ahead with option 3. Build the additional step and started decking the stairs. It looks good and feels stable.

Bought another set of skirtboards, decking boards and 4X4 post. Finished framing and decking the final stairs. I also finished decking the 1st platform landing. Lots and lots of 45 deg cuts. It’s pretty impressive. Cut and installed the skirtboard for the stairs. It’s taking great shape…

Notched some posts for the railings. Installed the posts for the stairs railings. Cut the railing 2X4s for the stairs. It definitely took a lot of patience when it comes time to install the balusters. Gotta try a different method as I got 3 more to do!

Installed the final set of stair railings. It took a lot of cuts, recuts and fitting to get the stair railings in place. The final result is amazing! Installed 90% of the railings today.

Installed the last set of railings – the angled sections. It took a lot of custom fitting to get it all to line up right. I also fitted the last skirtboard tonight. Started on the handrail and ran into problems trying to figure out how to make the angled cuts to make it continuous.

Decked the stairs and the first set of stair railings

View of stairs from top

View of stairs from the bottom

One of the post caps, Handrail

The stairs from a different angle

Took the day off. Had a doctor’s appt mid morning and wanted to finish up the deck and had it inspected. Started the day by fixing that one post. Figured out the angled cut for the continous handrail. Installed the finishing pieces to the railing – putting a piece of decking board along the top of the posts to make it pretty.

Different angles of the finished deck


-- Krisztian VA My website:

13 comments so far

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5314 days

#1 posted 07-03-2008 01:27 AM

Krisztian, excellent work on the deck & it compliments the house very well. great job on the design & demonstration. Thanks for sharing.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

845 posts in 5371 days

#2 posted 07-03-2008 01:44 AM

That looks like it is going to deliver lots of nice evening get togethers.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View irishhandyman's profile


96 posts in 5139 days

#3 posted 07-03-2008 02:58 AM

WOW Now that is a deck. I am so glad you took lots of pictures and give lots of details. I wish I couild see that for myself. You did a wonderful job. You get the ‘atta boy’ award for that job. I hope you get to enjoy it as much as you worked on it.

-- God bless the men and women who protect our counrty.

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 5285 days

#4 posted 07-03-2008 03:09 AM

nice work with the project pics and excellent results, great deck.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Keni's profile


42 posts in 5347 days

#5 posted 07-03-2008 03:20 AM

I love it! You did a great job. My next deck will have more pics too…

-- Williamsport, MD

View Rxmpo's profile


270 posts in 5208 days

#6 posted 07-03-2008 05:13 AM


This is an awesome deck! The only thing better than the deck is the posting!! Thanks for all the detailed info for all of us who want to tackle this type of job. Great work.

I just have a question about the “before” picture. It looks like there is an existing sliding glass door on the second floor, but there doesn’t seem to be any sign of a previous structure that you tore down. Was there a deck previously or did you bolt that door shut so no one stepped into an empty elevator shaft?


PS- Keni, lookin forward to seeing those pics…

View toyguy's profile


1792 posts in 5300 days

#7 posted 07-03-2008 11:34 AM

Well done sir.
Great deck and execution of a plan.
Also a great blog.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5762 days

#8 posted 07-03-2008 01:31 PM

You built a great deck with excellent planning, & craftsmanship.

You will get many years of enjoyment from your labors.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5454 days

#9 posted 07-03-2008 01:49 PM


Outstanding work sir! I really like the modern balusters with the Cedar…... Excellent Design & Craftsmanship!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5420 days

#10 posted 07-03-2008 01:59 PM

Beautiful deck! Nice job documenting the process..I love to see construction pics! Cedar is real nice..I went with composites. I was originally thinking of mahogany, but spent the extra money for maintenance free!


View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5237 days

#11 posted 07-03-2008 04:15 PM

Great looking deck. You did a beautiful job on it. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 5166 days

#12 posted 07-03-2008 09:41 PM

Great work!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 5179 days

#13 posted 07-03-2008 10:07 PM

nice work , great deck.

-- jeanmarc manosque france

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics