After you realize you want a deck, the next step is to figure out size and location. Once you've decided on a size, get the exact dimensions with a tape measure.Figure out what style of deck and deck boards you like by looking through various home and garden magazines and web sites. It is also important to plan your budget.
Rather than start from complete scratch, using a deck pier system(pre-formed concrete footings, already notchedto accept standard wood sizes) will alleviate a lot of the hard work. http://www.deckplans.com/ is a great recourse that will help making a deck “easy” and provides a lot of great help and additional resources.
If you’ve decided to use deckplans.com to help create your deck, they will provide you with a materials list once you’ve input your dimensions, the type of deck you want, etc. You can find almost all materials at stores like Home Depot, Lowes or Menards. Make sure that you order and buy extra materials; especially if this is your first go round with building your own deck.
Build a practice deck
If you've never worked with deck screws and a drill or chop saws and 2x6 lumber, try building a mini deck. Build a quick four-sided frame to see how your cordless drill and deck screws work. Cut your extra deck board into pieces and get used to screwing them into the frame. Pay attention to what can happen when you set the screws too high or too low, when you screw close to the end of a deck board, and when you don't put direct pressure on your drill as all of these issues can lead to mistakes that you’d rather make on your practice round rather than on your final product.
Set the piers in place, on the level
When building the final deck, the first step is getting all the piers in their final, level place. You'll want to start with your four corner piers first and go from there. The piers put the frame about 6" off the ground so dig about 5 inches deep. Getting everything level is a long process; expect several hours to do this (5+ hours).
Build the frame
With the piers placed and level, now you just need to build the frame using the 2x6 boards. Start off by doing the front, back, and sides and take measurements from corner to corner to make sure it is even. After that, just start placing the 2x6 beams in the deck pier slots and screw it all together. Once you get good at drilling in the screws, this is an easy process that should take about an hour.
Attach the decking boards
Once the frame is finished, you’re almost done; you just need to attach the decking boards. This step requires a lot of drilling, so having an extra charged battery available when your cordless drill dies, will make life a lot easier. This step takes a few hours. Be sure to work carefully so you do not make mistakes.
After you’re done attaching the decking boards, clean up and relax and enjoy your new deck!