What Materials Do I Need to Build a Deck?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Classically, building things required merely nails and wood, but the modern era introduced an array of advanced building materials. New materials add to the longevity and stability of a deck, whereas limitless designs offer new ways to design your deck.

    Here are a few essential accessories that you need for building a deck.

    Measuring and Layout Tools

    Generally, you need a twenty-five-foot tape measure, but a longer tape will come in handy if you are designing a huge deck. Moreover, chalk boxes or chalk lines can create perfectly straight lines. Choose blue chalk instead of red as it will wash off easily.

    Framing Squares and Speed Squares

    A carpenter’s square or a framing square is handy for making long-square lines. You will need speed squares when you mark boards before cutting. Use a torpedo level for smaller pieces and a two or 4-foot level for larger pieces.

    Excavation Tools

    Hand tools are useful for excavation, but you may want to rent a post hole digging or an earth-moving machine to build larger decks. You can also hire a landscaper for this purpose.


    You can’t avoid digging when building a deck. For that reason, a spade shovel is best for digging earth and removing soil. Use mason’s line to mark off areas you need to excavate. A drain spade features a narrow blade to dig shallow postholes, but you will need a clamshell post hole digger for deeper post holes.

    Pipe and Squeeze Clamps

    When driving fasteners, various types of clamps can hold pieces in alignment. A sliding clamp can hold more firmly while a squeeze clamp grabs quickly. Moreover, a pipe clamp is as long as the pipe you connect the two parts to.

    Wrenches and Pry Bars

    A flat pry bar quickly pulls boards into position and can slip into narrow spaces with minimal damage to the wood. While a pry bar can do the job soon, it can also mar the wood. You can use an adjustable wrench or a crescent wrench to tighten nuts and bolts. However, you’ll need a pair of locking pliers to hold the other end of the fastener. In some cases, you will need hand sleds to keep tight boards in position.

    Fastening Tools

    It’s better to use a power nailer than a hammer as it will not cause any dents due to mishits. But, you do need a hammer for tighter areas and to drive joist-hanger nails. A nail set can extend your reach, and a teco nailer comes in handy for driving other hardware and joisting hangers.

    Another popular fasting tool is a cordless drill. You can quickly get an 18 or 20-volt cordless drill. A speed driver will help when you are installing a deck with face screws, while an impact driver makes it easier to drive bolts and screws firmly.

    Nail Gun with Compressor

    While professionals typically have larger compressors, a model with 150 PSI and 6 gallons gives plenty of power to build a deck.

    Smoothing and Shaping Tools

    You will need a router with a decorative or a round-over bit to create custom looks and ease sharp edges. Another accessory you need is a sanding tool, but be careful to use it in a way that it does not dig into the wood. A random orbit sander not only removes stains but is also safer to sue. However, you can choose a hand sander to get the job done.

    Cutting tools

    While your cuts should not be ultimately precise, you should be at least be accurate. Apart from knives and shears to do the job, you will need a saw to build your deck.

    What kind of saw do I need to build a deck?

    Here are a few types of saw you need so many

    · Circular Saw

    A circular saw is generally used for a large variety of cuts. That’s a reason why a circular saw is the best type of saw to build a deck. Buy one that offers reliable cuts and has a sharp carbide-tipped blade.

    · Jigsaw

    A saber saw, or a jigsaw is ideal for cutting in tight spots and making carved cuts.

    · Reciprocating Saw

    This type of saw is great for demolition but also works for making finishing cuts.

    · Table Saw

    A small table or a worksite saw, conveniently and quickly rips boards, to your desired width.

    · Chop Saw

    A chop saw, or a power miter saw is ideal for accurate crosscuts.

    Where can I find free deck building plans?

    Deck planking is available in a large variety of types. You don’t have to recruit an architect to design this addition to your home because dozens of websites offer free deck building plans for free.

    For instance, Decks.com features more than 80 different deck plans that you can easily download. All projects range from basic and conventional designs in rectangle and square shapes to elaborate designs with multiple levels.

    When you choose a deck building plan, the website you want can also send you the materials, including the railing, framing, and decking equipment. A few sites let you calculate the overall cost of your deck building plan. Some sites also arrange a meeting with a professional handyman who can suggest the best fit according to your budget and needs.

    Final Thoughts

    When building a deck, make sure to look at the outdoor decking materials comparison to choose the best option for your deck. Most importantly, take care of the permits and building codes of your area. For instance, according to the North American Deck and Railing Association website, the IRS or International Residential Code requires that all private porches and deck must withstand at least 40 pounds per square foot in addition to the weight of the porch. Don’t forget to plan out your deck in a way that there is ample space for your furniture and walk room around each item. Finally, if you are trying to save some money, you can also look at the backyard deck ideas on a budget!

    But if you need any help, reach out to All Pro Decks, the best deck and patio builder there is. We can surely help you build the deck of your dreams!

    Justin Wylie

    Justin Wylie, owner of All Pro Decks & Patios is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite located in the San Antonio Hill Country area. He specializes in building decks, patios, patio covers, pergolas, concrete slabs, fireplaces and more while providing quality and service for his customers.

    Ready to start your project?

    Unlock The Full Potential Of Your Backyard – Start Your Project Now!

    Transform Your Backyard With All Pro Decks

    Ready to take your backyard to the next level? Let All Pro Decks transform your outdoor living space into a beautiful oasis where memories are made and where dreams are fulfilled. Schedule your free estimate now and take the first step toward creating your dream lifestyle!”