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 Multilevel
deck and documented the steps taken in order to help you
build your own outdoor living area.
1. Siding was removed and
ledger boards attached to the house. The ledger boards
establish the upper-deck level that will be 28 feet
long by 15 feet wide. This upper level fits into an
inner corner of the house. Batterboards and mason's
string lines were used to locate footing positions for
both levels of the deck.
Approximate time for a novice (with a helper) to lay
out footing locations for this deck: 15-17 hours,
which includes removing siding and attaching the
12-inch-diameter footing holes were dug. Each hole is
48 inches deep to get below the local frost line. The
bottoms of the holes didn't need flaring, but tube
forms were required. Concrete was delivered by truck
and pumped through a hose to each footing location.
Post anchors for 6x6 posts were attached to the
footings after the concrete cured for 48 hours. Large
footings and posts allowed for the fewest number
possible for a multilevel deck of this size.
3. 6x6 POSTS were
installed and temporarily braced in position. A water
level was used to establish post heights for each
level. Posts were then trimmed at the correct height.
Beams made from doubled 2x12s will sit on the posts.
Joists will be cantilevered over beams on both deck
levels. The lower deck level is 28 feet by 16 feet.
4. Beams were built in
place and attached to the post tops with adjustable
post caps. The long beams were made longer than
required and will be trimmed flush with the rim joists
after the joists are installed. The short beam
supports the upper-deck level joists that attach at
the patio door bay. The bay framing isn't strong
enough to anchor a standard ledger board. Beams were
covered with self-sealing membrane for extra moisture
5. A ledger for the
lower-deck level was attached to the posts beneath the
middle beam. The ledger sits in notches cut in the
posts. Then a 2x12 header joist and rim joists were
installed for both deck levels. Forty-five degree
corners were made on the lower level where stairs to
ground level will be built. Beam ends were trimmed
flush with the rim joists. The inner 2x12 joists were
attached with blocking in the middle of the joist
spans on both levels.
6. 5/4x6 decking was
installed perpendicular to the joists on the upper
level. Decking was installed at opposite diagonals on
the lower level. Deck screws were used to fasten the
decking. The different decking patterns provide visual
texture and separate the two levels. A double joist
was installed at the center of the lower level to
properly support the decking.
7. Locations were
established for 8-inch-diameter footings at the bottom
ends of the stairs. One side of each stair run rests
on a preexisting concrete slab. Only one additional
footing was necessary for each stair run. Stair runs
were calculated and stringers made, and the stairs
were built. Each stair run ends on a low-level deck
platform. A simple box stair connects the two deck
levels. The levels could be farther apart and
connected by longer stair runs.
Approximate time (not including the low-level
8. Railing post locations
were calculated and the posts installed. Posts were
notched and attached to the outside of the perimeter
framing and the stringers. Coated metal tubes are used
as balusters for this railing.