Decks are a perfect area for outdoor
entertaining and outdoor relaxing. The style of deck you
choose to build determines how you use your deck, as well
as how you build it. Although similar in appearance,
different decks can require different construction
Out Installation Services Associates built
this Low-Level deck and documented the steps taken in
order to help you build your own outdoor living area.
1. Footing positions were
established around the concrete pad surrounding a
pool. The low-level deck on each side of the pool is
30 feet long and 8 feet wide; 2x8 framing will be used
on this low-level deck. Smaller-dimension framing
requires more footings. Batterboards and mason's
string lines were used to locate footing positions.
2. Ten holes for
8-inch-diameter footings for each deck side were dug
with a power auger. Each hole is 48 inches deep to get
below the local frost line. Tube forms were required
for the footings. Concrete was delivered by truck and
pumped to the footing locations. Post anchors for 4x4
posts were installed after the concrete cured for 48
3. 4x4 posts were plumbed
and temporarily braced in position. A water level was
used to establish post heights, and each post was
trimmed to accurate length. The ground slopes away
from the concrete pad so the outer posts are longer
than the inner posts. Landscape rock was added to
cover the area after posts were installed, but before
framing was completed.
4. Double 2x8 beams were
built in place on top of the posts. They are attached
to the posts with adjustable post caps. A 45-degree
beam was installed in each corner. Decking will be
attached around the deck perpendicular to the joists.
The diagonal beam will support joists meeting from
5. 2x8 rim joists and
inner joists were installed. Inner joists were
attached to the 45-degree beam with 45-degree joist
6. A ledger and framing
for a box stair were installed. The front edge of the
stair rests on the concrete pad. A 45-degree header
joist was installed between box-stair sections in each
7. 5/4x6 decking was
installed on the deck and the box stair perpendicular
to the joists. Seams between boards were staggered
between adjacent rows of decking. The board ends
meeting in the corner are mitered at 45-degree angles.
Decking was fastened with deck screws.
8. Railing post locations
were calculated and posts installed. Posts were
notched and attached to the outside of the perimeter
framing. One post was notched to fit around each deck
corner. Stair railings were not needed. Coated metal
tubes were used as railing balusters.