Sloped Site Deck with Railing and Stairs

This is a basic rectangular deck with two twists: It's built on a sloped site and has an angle cut across one corner for a stairway. Both lead to some challenging framing work. Instructions are included in our deck-building section.
Size and shape

This deck is 14x24 feet, providing ample room for a food preparation area, a dining area, and a lounge chair or two. The rectangular shape allows several options for positioning outdoor furniture.

The structure

The deck is attached to the house with a ledger board. Installing a ledger reduces the number of footings, posts, and beams required, saving time and work. A ledger installed at the beginning of construction also provides a handy reference point when laying out the deck.

Concrete footings support 4x4 posts, which in turn support beams made of doubled 2x10s. A long beam supports most of the deck. A shorter beam, placed at an angle, is needed for the cutoff corner.

The framing is mostly 2x10 joists attached with joist hangers. The angled corner is not difficult to make.

Stairs and railing

This popular railing design uses standard dimensional lumber: 4x4 posts, 2x2 balusters, 2x4 rails, and a top cap of decking. The only difficult joint is where top cap pieces meet at a corner, requiring a mitered cut.

The stairway descends about 4 feet. Detailed instructions for planning and building stairs can be found elsewhere on this site.


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