How To Build A Platform Deck

Platform decks are a great alternative to standard decking material, since they allow the homeowner to create a raised deck with no visible support structure. While the post-and-beam method creates a very sturdy platform, it is much more expensive than other methods. This article will take you step-by-step through the building process so that you can create your own beautiful, cost efficient platform deck in one weekend. Platform decks are a great way to add stylish, functional outdoor space to your home. These decks are low-maintenance, but they can be more costly than traditional options. They also require special installation techniques and materials. In this guide you’ll learn exactly how to build one yourself to make sure it is strong, safe and looks beautiful.

The simplicity of this ground level deck (or floating deck) makes it fast to build. With a helper and all the materials ready to go first thing in the morning, you can have a completed ground level deck before sundown. If you add a step to your ground level deck and use hidden deck fasteners as we did, you might need a few more hours to finish the job. But if you’re using 2×6 framing material as we did, once the foundation blocks are set and the joist hangers installed, the main support structures of your platform deck come together quickly with some basic hand tools.

Start Your Deck Building

Before you begin building your deck, it’s important to plan out the details from start to finish. This includes measuring the area of land you want to build on and deciding what size deck you’d like. You’ll also have to decide on materials, designs and posts that will support your entire structure.

Lay Out the Deck

  • Measure and Mark the Deck

Once you’ve picked your materials, it’s time to start laying out the deck. First, measure the width and length of your deck and make sure that it is a comfortable distance away from your house. Next, mark off where each joist will go using stakes (these can be easily found at any hardware store). Then, use a chalk line to make vertical lines on all of these stakes so that everyone knows where each joist will go.

  • Level It Out

Now that you’ve laid out your planks and marked them with chalk lines, it’s time to level them out. To do this properly, use an electric screwdriver with a Phillips head bit attached so as not to damage any screws that may already be present in your project area. Attach one end of each plank onto its respective nail/screw point on one side of the house; then align its opposite ends together so they form an even surface with no gaps or unevenness in between boards (this is important because if there are any gaps between planks due to unevenness then water can leak through into other areas). Once everything is aligned correctly then screw down all sides until secure.

Prepare the Concrete Slab

Now that you have decided to build a deck, it is time to prepare your concrete slab. This will be the foundation for your platform deck and is essential for proper drainage and support. Follow these steps:

  • Make sure the area you are working with is level and free of debris. If there are cracks in the ground, make sure they do not exceed 2 inches wide or 1/2 inch deep. Fill in any low spots with soil or gravel, if needed.
  • Prevent moisture from coming into contact with your concrete by using a vapor barrier underlayment on top of the soil (if needed). You can purchase one at any hardware store or online retailer that sells building materials for less than $15 per roll (enough material for several decks!).
  • If there are any large rocks or roots sticking out of your soil surface, remove them before pouring over them as they may cause cracking in later stages of construction once concrete has been poured over them without having been removed first.

Make the Base Frame

The base frame is the part of the deck that will hold everything together. This is what you use to support your deck’s weight, so it needs to be strong and durable.

To build a solid base frame:

  • Measure out how big your deck will be and make sure it fits in your yard.
  • Cut posts out of pressure-treated wood that are as tall as you want your deck to be and at least twice as wide as an 8 foot 2×6 lumber piece. For example, if you want a 6’6″ high by 12′ long platform deck, cut four 6’6″ post pieces with 12″ wide topsets (the top part) from 2x10s or 2x12s (2x12s would be best). The topsets should also line up with each other when placed side by side on two opposite sides of where your stairs will go later on down below. Place these posts together into two pairs at least 4 ft apart; this will give them enough room for stability when supporting weight from above. Use metal brackets along each edge where posts meet so that they can’t move around too much over time due to pressure placed upon them by snowfall during winter months. Securely fasten any remaining sides together using hinges; attach hinges securely so they won’t fall off easily after being installed once finished building.

Install the Floor Joists

Next, you need to install the floor joists. The floor joists run perpendicular to the rim joists and support the floor of your deck. A typical deck has two 2x12s for each span, but if you have a longer span or want extra support, you can add in additional supports. Attach the hangers onto each end of each board so that they are flush with one side and then secure them using galvanized nails (we recommend using 8d box nails).

Next, attach your rim joists on both sides of where you installed your floor joists. You can use any length 2×6 boards here—just make sure they’re long enough to extend past both sides of your platform by 1/2″ per foot of drop (for example: if there’s a 5′ drop from ground level to where your platform meets with earth below it, then each side should be 7 1/2″). When attaching these pieces together use what is called dimensional lumber—this means that boards won’t warp or shrink over time which could cause gaps between them because their ends were cut at different angles during manufacturing process due to weather conditions affecting humidity levels etcetera).

Cut and Install Piers

There are two main types of piers:

  • Wood (pressure treated lumber)
  • Concrete.

Wood pier installations are typically used if you’re building your deck over a concrete pad. Piers made from pressure-treated lumber are less expensive and easier to install, but they won’t last forever. Concrete piers will last longer, but this type of installation is more expensive and takes more time to complete. In the end though, it’s up to you which type works best for your budget and schedule.

Attach Ledger Boards

Ledger Boards

Once you have your ledger boards in place, attach them to the posts and piers by driving screws through the tops of each ledger board into its corresponding post or pier.

Attach Ledger Boards To Rim Joists

Next, attach your rim joists to the ledger boards by driving screws through each of these pieces’ top edges into their corresponding ledgers (see diagram below). The rim joist is where most people will be stepping when they walk on their deck so make sure it is strong enough to support a person’s weight. This step may also require bolting through additional pieces such as blocking if there are no pre-existing screw holes nearby that can serve this purpose for you.

Attach Posts to Ledgers and Piers

The next step is to attach posts and beams to ledgers and piers. To do this, you will use joist hangers. Joist hangers are metal brackets that are used to hold up the decking boards. Place each joist hanger directly above its corresponding ledger or pier. Then attach the post or beam using lag screws and washers.

If you have rim joists and blocking between your ledger or pier and post or beam, you will be able to secure them with just one joist hanger each.

Attach Joist Hangers

Attach Joist Hangers

  • Attach a joist hanger to each ledger board and adjust it so that the hook end is pointing up. You can use a joist hanger nailer, which drives nails into the wood to secure the hangers. If you don’t have a nail gun, you can use lag bolts instead; they look like large screws but they are actually much stronger than regular screws or nails. Use your level to make sure that the ledger boards are level with each other; if they aren’t level, try to fix this without completely disassembling them because this will make your deck look sloppy if there is any gap between them when completed (and even worse – it would be dangerous for anyone who steps onto it because their foot would fall through).
  • Once all of your ledger boards are attached securely in place on top of each other and secured down underneath with lag bolts through both layers of lumber sandwiching between them – go ahead and drive lag bolts into any remaining holes after removing any temporary bracing used earlier during construction process like braces from underneath deck joists or plywood supports cut out from under existing structure under house where house meets garage wall etc…

Add Center Beam and Blocking

Center Beam and Blocking

The center beam is the backbone of your platform deck, providing support for all of the joists. It’s typically installed first, before any other framing takes place. The blocking that supports the joists between them can be installed either before or after you install your decking boards. If you want to keep things simple, consider installing it before applying your decking boards since this gives you a better idea of where to place them later on in the project.

If you want more information on how to build a platform deck with beams and blocking, check out our comprehensive guide here.

Add the Rim Joists and Anchor the Frame

  • Attach the rim joists to ledger boards. The ledger board is a horizontal beam that runs along the outside of your deck and can be made out of pressure-treated lumber or composite material. You will have to attach each rim joist through the ledger board before installing it, so make sure you have enough space between them.
  • Attach rim joists to piers. The pier is a vertical post that helps support both sides of your decking structure, and it must be bolted into place with lag bolts (if you’re using treated lumber) or bolt-type anchors if you’re using composite materials like Trex or Azek products). To install these properly, use a drill/driver bit that’s slightly larger than whatever anchor bolts are being used for each particular application—this will ensure that everything stays nice and secure.
  • Attach rim joists over posts (or supports). This step will vary depending on how many posts there are in total; however once again keep in mind which type of anchor bolts were used when deciding where they should go because they need something sturdy enough underneath them before attaching anything else onto them.

Learn how to build a platform deck so that you can enjoy your own little oasis.

Building a platform deck is an exciting project for the DIYer who wants to add a little bit of personality to their outdoor space. A platform deck is a type of deck that consists of freestanding posts that are hidden at the base, usually under the flooring, and surrounded by concrete or landscaping.

There are many benefits associated with building your own platform deck. For one thing, it will significantly lower your cost in comparison with hiring someone else to do it for you. It also allows you to customize every aspect of your new outdoor space; if there’s something specific about how you want your deck built then go ahead and make those specifications clear when meeting with contractors so they can give ideas on how best to achieve them.

Final words

You can get as elaborate as you want with your deck. Once you have the base frame built, you can install any kind of flooring or framing you want for a custom look. A platform deck is a great option for those who don’t want to dig holes in their yard, and it’s also the perfect way to build an elevated deck if your ground is uneven. After following these steps and constructing your new deck, all that’s left is to enjoy it.

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