This step by step diy project is about ground level deck plans. If you are looking for a straight forward project for your backyard, in order to create a small place where to take your coffee every morning or where to read a good book, you should consider building a nice deck. As you will see in this project, this light construction doesn’t require complex tools or carpentry techniques, so any person with basic skills can get the job done in just a weekend.
Before starting the actual construction you should study attentively the local building codes, to find out whether you need a building permit and if there are some restrictions for your project. Choosing the right location for your deck is essential, so make sure you check if there will get enough light or if it will add character to your property. Using weather-resistant materials is also important, so buy at least pressure-treated lumber. See all my Premium Plans HERE.
Projects made from these plans
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- A – 6 pieces of tube forms, 6 pieces of metal anchors, sand, gravel and cement FOOTINGS
- B – 2 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 144” long, 4 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 141” long RIM JOISTS
- C – 8 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 137” long JOISTS
- D – 25 pieces of 2×6 decking – 144” long DECKINGS
- E – 4 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 147″ long – both ends cut at 45º TRIMS
- deck joist hanger
- deck screws, deck stain
Hammer, Tape measure, Framing square
Miter saw, Drill machinery, Screwdriver, Sander
Building a ground level deck
Top Tip: Building a ground level deck is a great project for your backyard, especially if you like to add a small leisure area to your property. This project doesn’t require a large investments and you can even get the job done by yourself. You can build the deck near your house or in the middle of your garden, surrounded by grass and flowers.
Ground level deck plans
The first step of the project is to lay out the concrete footings. In order to get a professional and accurate result, we recommend you to use batter boards and string. Check if the corners are right angles by applying the 3-4-5 rule and make sure the diagonals are equal.
Dig 2-3′ deep holes, install tube forms and compact a 2” layer of gravel. Next, pour concrete and fit the metal anchors as in the plans.
Continue the woodworking project by installing the 2×6 rim joists. Place two joists on both sides of the ground-level deck and fit 1/2” pieces of plywood between them. Secure the beams to the metal anchors with appropriate screws, after aligning them at both ends.
Top Tip: Install the rest of the components into place and check if they are perfectly level. Make sure the four corners are right-angled, by using a carpentry square.
The next step of the project is to fit the intermediate joists. As you can notice in the plans, you should leave 16″ OC between the joists, in order to enhance the rigidity of the frame.
Top Tip: Check if the corners are right-angled after fitting each joist. In addition, you need to align the 2×6 beams at both ends before inserting the screws, if you want to build the ground level deck in a professional manner.
As you can see in the image, we recommend you to use joists hangers when fitting the beams to the frame. In addition, check if the joists are level by using a good spirit level.
Alternatively, you could drill pilot holes trough the rim joists and insert 3 1/2” wood screws into the beams. Nevertheless, the latter technique requires more work and extra finishing touches. If you countersink the head of the screws, you can fill them with wood filler and get a smooth surface.
Installing the decking is a straight forward job is the support surface is rigid and perfectly level. If you buy 12′ long decking boards you don’t have to make any kind of cuts (for a 12×12 deck). Align the boards at both ends before drilling pilot holes and driving in the 2 1/2″ galvanized screws.
Place a nails between the slats to get consistent gaps. Snap a chalk line before adjusting the boards at the proper size, using a circular saw.
Fitting 2×2 trims to the end of the slats is not compulsory, but it will definitely enhance the look of your deck and hide the cut edges. Cut the ends of the trims at 45º to fit together easily. Add wood glue to the edges and secure them into place. Insert 2 1/2” finishing nails to enhance the bind of the joints.
Top Tip: In addition you could also fit 1×6 fascias to the perimeter beams. Miter cut the ends of the fascias at 45º and lock them into place with 1 1/4” finishing nails and glue.
Last but not least, you should take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, we recommend you to fill the holes with wood filler, if necessary and let it dry out for several hours. Afterwards, smooth the wooden surface with medium-grit sandpaper and vacuum the residues.
Top Tip: Protect your deck from decay by applying several coats of satin or paint. Place a nice table with several chairs and enjoy your latest outdoor project.
This project was about ground level deck plans. If you want to see more outdoor plans, we recommend you to check out the rest of the projects. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets.
The only issue is in the pictures in the last few you see the concrete footings then the last one they magically disappear….
I’d rather see a plan that has them not showing…if you follow this they will be showing.
I show the footings so you understand how the deck is built. It doesn’t mean they have to show. You can easily pour them a few inches under then ground and then cover them with soil/gravel.
I like it. Very simple and straight forward. Thanks!
Can you use the concrete decking blocks instead of digging and pouring the footers?
Yes, but read the local codes before starting the project.