DIY Deck Survey



Can I build a deck myself? Help yourself by first answering a few questions.

1. Can you set aside the time it takes to complete the deck project? YES   NO   more infoless info
As with any DIY project, building a deck takes more time than you think. Create a detailed project outline before you begin. Putting it all down on paper will help you better judge the time you will need to complete each step.
2. Do you have or access to the right tools?
YES   NO   Circular saw using a carbide-tipped blade
YES   NO   Screw gun — either cordless or corded
YES   NO   Miter-box saw
YES   NO   Tape measure
YES   NO   Carpenters square
YES   NO   Router — important if using hidden deck fasteners
YES   NO   Blue chalk line — red chalk lines will stain boards' surface
YES   NO   Safety glasses
3. Do you have all the necessary permits? YES   NO   more infoless info
Check with your state, county and city offices for all necessary building permits. Some states require a licensed contractor to install decks.
4. Are you aware of all building codes and zoning restrictions? YES   NO   more infoless info
Many a do-it-yourselfers have made costly mistakes by overlooking building codes or zoning restrictions. Don't get stuck having to demolish your efforts because you built too close to your neighbor! Make sure you have a good understanding of requirements or restrictions before you begin your project.
5. Have you located all of your underground utilities? YES   NO   more infoless info
Never start a project unless you know where all underground utilities are buried. Digging blind can result in interruption to individual homes or entire blocks. Striking the wrong underground wire could even cause injury or death.