Deck Building Tools & Materials

Deck Tools

Compared with many home remodeling projects, deck building is easy and enjoyable. It is outdoor work, involves basic materials and carpentry skills, and won't disrupt everyday home life as other remodeling projects can. It's not a problem to leave the work half finished and pick up where you left off several days later.

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Making plans
No building job, however, including a deck, should be approached haphazardly. Making good decisions when you plan the project can save hassles later on, so be willing to spend as much time preparing as in actually building a deck.

Walk around the site and make rough sketches first. Note the patterns of sun and shade, views worth preserving, and likely foot-traffic patterns. Gradually refine the drawings, and consult with your local building department to make sure that your plans comply with local codes.

Choosing tools and materials
Assemble the kit of carpentry hand tools shown at right. You may already have most of these tools. They are useful for many household projects and will be handy to have around the house long after the deck is finished, so invest in high-quality tools. Avoid bargain-bin, off-brand tools, which often break or bend easily, may not cut well, and may be less comfortable to use. In addition to saving effort, you can often make more precise cuts with a power saw.

This section also can help you decide which type of lumber to use for your deck and how to select the best boards. Synthetic decking, an increasingly popular option for deck builders.

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Making these dreams come true is simpler than you thought -- print these instructions to begin!