How to Build a Redwood Deck: A Step-by-Step Guide from Start to Finish

One of the best value-adds to your home and quality of life is a deck. If your home already has a deck, wonderful! Enjoy it. If, on the other hand, your home is missing that piece of outdoor living that will bring you joy and happy memories, perhaps you would consider building one.

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If you are interested in building a redwood deck, this article will point you to the guides that walk you, in great detail and step by step with photos, through the process of building a deck that your family will enjoy for years to come.

Remove Existing Concrete.

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To begin, you’ll need to remove any existing patio concrete under the point of your deck. This will allow you to install footings directly into the ground for maximum stability and longevity. If you have no existing concrete to remove, move on to the next step.

Concrete-Mounted Frame.

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If your deck neighbors part of your home’s foundation, you will save yourself a bit of work (and get an excellent, sturdy frame) by using the concrete foundation for part of your deck frame. This process takes some muscle, but you may be surprised how quickly you get the hang of it…and how easy this version of framing is when compared to footings. This is a very effective way to build a frame for a curved part of a deck, too, as this article will show you.

Install Deck Footings.

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For the part(s) of your deck that aren’t next to a concrete foundation, you can install footings as your base support for the deck frame itself. There are several ways to approach this task; the one shown in this article involves installing 4×4 posts into holes and using quick-set concrete, mixed right in the hole, to secure those posts. Another method of installing footings includes brackets placed into concrete, which (although it’s written for installing pergola posts) you could use for deck footings as well.

Build Deck Frame.

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Once your footings are dry and/or your wall-mount frame is completed, you’re ready to finish up your deck frame. This article shows how to level your deck frame and install a double-2×6 beam, both as an outer frame and also as an inner beam for adequate joist support. This process is not hard, but it takes time and effort to get everything level and accurate. Laying a precise foundation, such as in your deck framing, will make the rest of your deck building process much easier and, more importantly, the final result much better and more beautiful. So take your time and complete this step with care.

Install Deck Joists.

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With your perimeter frame and inner frame beams installed and ready to go, it’s time for you to install the deck joists. Deck joists are those pieces of lumber that run perpendicular to the actual deck floor, and hold up the floor. So, in other words, the frame supports the joists, and the joists (with the frame) support the floor. This article will show you how to install the 16” spaced joists efficiently and effectively. Tip: Strategize the direction you want your wood deck floor boards to run, based upon lumber lengths and visual effect, and hang your joists perpendicular to that direction. The direction that the boards run will feel larger.

Install Deck Floor.

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With your frame in place supporting the deck joists, there is nothing keeping you from installing your deck floor. This article will show you the absolute best way to install a redwood deck floor. The method is efficient, and (the best part of all) results in a deck floor with virtually no visible screws. It’s amazing. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this deck floor-laying tool and technique.

Install Curved Deck Floor.

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When we were researching methods that “regular” (e.g., non-professional) people used to install their wood deck floor on a curve, we found very little information. Which is why this super simple method (which uses kitchen wax paper, of all things) will be very useful to you if you’re facing a similar issue. You will actually look forward to running your deck floor directly up to your curved patio steps after learning this simple way to custom-fit a wood deck floor to any curve.

Install Deck Trim.

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With your deck floor installed, you might feel like you’re about done with the project. And you’re very close, but not quite done. Before staining and sealing the deck, you’re going to want to add your final finishing touches – including adding wood trim around any posts and also trimming the side of your deck. This article will show you some simple ways to trim like a professional. You’re going to love the finished results.

Stain & Seal the Deck.

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A beautiful redwood deck is something to behold, to be sure. This type of wood – and most fresh woods, in fact – is beautiful raw. Unfortunately, that new look will only last so long. Sooner rather than later, your gorgeous redwood will begin to grey and age, and much of your hard work will be undone if not treated. This article will show you the best redwood deck staining product and how to apply it (in one step!) for a gorgeous, lasting finish. Of course, you’ll need to restain every couple of years for optimum wood preservation and function. But this process can be done in a few short hours, with results that last years.

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Here are some before and after photos of the deck area shown in this example.

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The new deck (with accompanying pergola) has certainly added value to the home and its owners’ lives.

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The backyard not only looks better with this deck in place, but the patio area also looks larger as a result of the deck.

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A slight, step-height lift works beautifully here…

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…the deck floor is not too high to be unsafe, but low enough to allow the deck to run safely right up to the curved edge of the first step.

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One last before and after photo, showing the richness of color in the backyard. Even though the season is close to winter in the second photo, the space looks more vibrant than the summertime brightness of the first photo.

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We hope you find these deck-building articles useful as you realize that you, too, can build your own deck.

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Happy (redwood) deck building.