How to Build a Deck Without Digging Holes – 9 Step by Step Guides

Most of the decks are usually built by digging holes to set deck posts. This method can be pretty expensive and time-consuming as well.

But luckily there are other ways. You should know how to build a deck without digging holes so that you can save some money as well as have a beautiful backyard.

Decks add beauty to your house and provide a great space to keep your patio furniture. But building decks can be tough as you need to do a lot.

You need to dig a hole, pour concrete, and set deck posts so that you get a stable and robust output. That’s a massive amount of work.

9 Steps to Build a Deck Without Digging Holes

As an alternative, you can build a floating wooden deck without digging any holes or setting deck posts.

The deck will be placed directly over the soil. We are here to guide you so that you can build a deck without digging holes.

If you collect the right tools and follow the steps below, you won’t be needing an expert to do this for you.

Here is a step by step guide to help you build a deck without much hassle.

How to Build a Deck Without Digging Holes – 9 Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Collect the right tools

Before jumping into the process, you need some tools. To cut or trim the deck planks, you will need a circular saw.

To attach the planks and floor joists, you will need a drill driver and vinyl-coated screws. You will also need chalk, measuring tape, etc.

Step 2: Cut the boards with a circular saw

At first, you need to cut the boards. Cut four boards in such a way so that it matches the dimension of the deck.

Don’t forget to wear goggles and gloves when you cut the boards.

Be careful and make sure that children and pet are not wandering around in the area you are working.

Step 3: Lay the precast deck piers in the correct way

You need to create a grid and keep a gap of 3 to 4 foot between each one. Set the precast deck piers following the grid.

Lay down the piers in such a way that it extends on end. Laying the precast deck piers is crucial; otherwise, the piers will be visible from the outside.

This process will help you to create deck footings without digging.

Step 4: Measure the grid

Now you will need to measure the grid from each side. Take a measuring tape and from each corner, measure the grid diagonally.

The measurement should be equal. Then you will understand that the grid is correctly placed, and it is squared.

If they are not equal, you will need to adjust them. Try to move the piers in such a way that they come in the correct position.

Then, measure the grid again. Repeat this process until the grid is equal from both sides.

Step 5: Check if the piers are aligned properly

For this step, you will need a helper. Tell him/her to hold one end and extend the line level. The level has to be aligned from both sides.

If any pier is too high or too low from the ground, you need to make adjustments.

If the pier is too high from the ground, you need to remove soil from underneath. To do this, take a shovel and remove a significant amount of land.

On the other hand, if the pier is too low from the ground, use leveling sad to give it the extra height. Redo this step until the piers are aligned.

Step 6: Place the floor joists on the piers

Now it is time to place the floor joist. Place it carefully on the slots of the docks. Make sure that each beam is aligned.

You can use a plank to check the alignment. Just lay it over the joists, if you don’t see any bump or hole, understand its correctly leveled.

Otherwise, you need to adjust the piers once again.

Step 7: Attach the joists with screws

After correctly placing the joists, it is time to attach them. Take a drill driver and vinyl-coated screws. Attach the screws at each section where two beams meet.

Step 8: Place the deck planks

In a 90 degrees angle, place the deck plank on the joists. Again, attach each deck plank with the screws as you go.

While placing the deck planks, keep a small gap between each deck plank. The difference will allow rainwater or other liquid to fall off from the deck quickly.

Step 9: Trim the end of the deck planks

After placing the deck planks successfully, you need to trim the end of the deck planks.

There is a high possibility that the planks will not be correctly fitted and some of them will extend from the area.

You need to trim the excess part from the deck planks. To do this correctly, draw a line with chalk, and with the help of a circular saw, cut the outside part carefully.

Following these steps, you will be able to build a beautiful deck in your backyard.  A lot of homeowners follow this method because it is easier and more cost-effective.

In the following section, we are going to discuss a few queries related to building a deck to give you a better idea overall.

how to build a deck without digging holes

How To Build A Small Deck Platform

You can similarly build a small deck platform as the previous one. However, small deck platforms are usually floating decks.

Low decks are typically 7 to 10 feet in length. Take chalk and draw a line in the area you want to place the deck.

Dig two inches round and place the concrete blocks on the corners. Then build the deck frame and lay it on the concrete blocks.

Check if the frames are squared; otherwise, you will need to adjust.

Make sure that the deck is set correctly on the concrete blocks. If the height is different in corners, you will have to add soil or remove soil according to the altitude.

At last, you will need to install the deck boards and trim them if needed. Attach screw on the connection points and repeat this process to install the remaining decks.

Tips to Build A Deck Without Concrete

You can make a deck with treated pine if you don’t want to use concrete. To make one, at first, you will need to place the beams.

Then, choose a height and use a level to check if the foundation is aligned correctly. Take an impact wrench to drive the deck footings in the ground.

That is how you will be able to build a deck without concrete.

Building A Deck Without Footings

You can also build a deck without footings. But we will suggest you use footings so that the deck is strong and stable.

A deck without footings might be appropriate if it is a small deck platform. Concrete blocks are strong enough to hold these kinds of deck platforms.

Small decks don’t need footings because they are built very close to the ground. You should always use deck footings if the deck is larger than 100 square feet.

Building a deck in your backyard is not as severe as you think. Depending on the size of the deck, you will need to choose the correct way of building it.

Follow the steps above, and you will have a stable as well as a beautiful deck in your backyard.


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