Building a Multi Level Deck

man attaching deck steps with screwdriver

This deck has attractive features that are easy to build. The decking of the upper level sports an eye-catching chevron pattern. The stairway is extra wide -- ideal for party seating. At one end of the deck, a pergola (an overhead trellis) combines with a lattice screen to increase privacy.

Projects in Multi-Level
 

Framing
While the basic structure of this deck is similar to the others on this website, one difference is the beam: It is made of two 2xs bolted to both sides of the posts. This type of beam is generally easier to build than the beams shown in the other two decks, which rest on top of the posts.

Decking, stairs, and railing
A single strip of decking runs parallel to the house in the center of the upper level area. The other decking boards run at 45-degree angles and butt against the center strip. This method calls for extra framing -- two rows of blocking -- but once the center strip is installed, it's fairly easy to lay the rest of the decking.

Wide and deep stairs require more stringers and tread pieces, but the construction techniques are similar to those used in the basic stairs. The attractive paver landing is actually easier to build than pouring a plain concrete slab.

Each railing post is made of four pieces of 2x and 1x lumber. This is more complicated than installing simple 4x4s but requires only basic carpentry skills. The result is a decorative post that is less likely to crack than a solid 4x4. Once the posts are set, the balustrade sections can be built as modules, then attached between the posts for an upgraded look.

Pergola and trellis
A pergola made of several layers of beams, rafters, and top pieces is easy to build as long as you follow the step-by-step instructions. Trellis material comes in easy-to-cut 4x8 sheets and can be fastened in less than an hour.


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