There are many online resources for how to build a deck, whether you’re building a small deck or a large one. While it’s almost always a good idea to use a professional for large and complicated projects, we want to make it easy for you to do-it-yourself for smaller projects. On this page we’ve assembled some resources for how to build a deck, and free deck designer software downloads and online deck design software where you can create your own deck plans.
Building a Small Deck
There are many websites that give good basic instructions for deck building for simple deck designs. Here are a few:
The American Wood Council has a 33 page Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide based on the international Residential Code which shows in-depth construction details and requirements for decks. This is an essential tool for deck builders.
How-To Hometime has a nice twelve-page series on Building A Deck with photos and details from preparing siding and digging footings to buildings stairs and installing railings.
eHow also has several basic articles that you might want to check out, such as “How to Build a Deck Attached to a House”. Most of these How-To’s are too basic and don’t provide enough details, but they do have some good videos, such as “Building a Deck: Rail Attachment”.
Deck Design Software
There are many deck design software packages available for a range of prices. Generally the main difference between many of the paid packages and the free deck designer software often comes down the ease-of-use, the range of features, and the accuracy of the finished product. In our experience, spending a few dollars on a sophisticated deck design software package makes sense when you consider that you’re planning to spend thousands of dollars on your project.
That said, we do not sell or endorse any of these products, and highly recommend that you search online for reviews of each product and perform your due diligence to ensure that the product you purchase meets your needs. Here are a few examples of some deck design software products:
Chief Architect’s Deck and Landscape Design Software
Amazon has many deck design software packages. Click here to see several.
DIYOnline has a Deck Designer available. If you are not already a member you’ll need to join their community for free before you can access the software.
Better Homes and Gardens also has a free Design/Arrange A Deck software. As with DIYOnline, you’ll need to join before you can use it.
We hope these resources help you get started with your deck project! Once you’re ready, visit our main website to find products and tools to help make your deck distinctive and enjoyable for years to come!
Do you have a favorite site for deck design how-to’s and software? Let us know so we can add it to the list!