If you’re a welcoming host that likes having family and friends over, you must’ve considered building a deck. While it might not seem like it,decks are usually quite big. A project of this size can be hard for someone with no experience in construction.
At the same time, you might not want to hire someone to build it for you because of the price of labor. If you are willing to learn a thing or two about home renovation, then don’t give up! Building a deck is not as hard as you think.
Image source: Affordable Views By RJB Construction INC
All you need to build a deck is a couple of basic tools. You might already have some of them at home! If not, you need to make a shopping list.
The best way to figure out which tools you’ll need is to go from the ground up. To make your job easier, we wrote a short list of suggested tools.
So, what tools do I need to build a deck?
Layout and Measuring Tools
That’s an obvious one. You will need to calculate several things, such as the surface area of the deck and so on. You don’t actually have to invest in a proper calculator. Instead, you can download a construction app on your phone or tablet.
You will need this tool for any construction project. Even if you’re just buying furniture for your house, you’ll need to measure the dimensions to make sure everything fits.
A common problem many people face when building a deck is that the boards don’t fit. Measure them before you get to cutting to make sure they’re all the same size.
Framing and speed squares
A framing square, also referred to as a carpenter’s square, is used for checking the corners of a square and making long straight lines.
You’ll need speed squares to mark the boards before you cut them into smaller pieces.
A carpenter’s level will help you keep your boards from caving. You don’t want to end up with a ramp!
To make the job easier, you can tie strings across the frame of your deck and adjust them to the desired level. Then, use the tool to confirm the strings are straight.
Chalk liner will help you come up with perfectly straight lines. Everything needs to be even in a deck. The string is covered in chalk, so when you snap it around your boards it will leave a mark. This mark will show you where to make the cuts.
Tools for Building
Pry bars and wrenches
Pry bars are put into narrow spaces to pull the boards into position. A nail puller does the same job, but it can damage the wood.
Use a crescent wrench, also referred to as an adjustable wrench, to tighten the bolts in your construction.
Hand sledges can push tight board into position.
You might already have a hand saw at home.Unfortunately, a hand saw is too small for a project the size of a deck. Keep in mind that you will be doing a lot of cutting, so it’s worth it to invest in a quality saw.
The recommended parameters are a 7 1/4 inch blade and a 10- to 13-amps motor.
Always wear eye protection and a face mask when using a saw. Wood will be flying around, and these help protect you from splinters.
A carbide-tipped combination blade makes cleaner cuts than a steel blade, so go for that if you can. Cut as much as you can before you begin the construction process. That will help to speed it up and make your job easier.
Nail gun and air compressor
You will need a framing or finish nailer for keeping the deck together.
Instead of using a hammer and nails to hold the boardsin place, get some screws. They are stronger and look neater.
You will need a mixing drill to mix the concrete. It’s easier, quicker, and more efficient than doing it by hand. The concrete will come out smooth and won’t form air pockets.
A cordless power drill is an absolute must. Get one with at least an 18- or 20-volt motor for maximum power. You can use it to drill holes in the wood and drive screws in.
Knives and shears
You definitely need a utility knife. It can help you finish and modify cuts in the wood.
Then, you will need tin snips or aviator shears to cut metal and plastic flashings. A grinder is also good at cutting metal.
Screws, nuts, bolts, and fasteners are the cheapest and smallest tools you’ll need, but they are no less important than the rest. You could have the best wood, and your deck could still easily fall apart with faulty hardware.
What type of hardware you’ll need will depend largely on the materials you’re using.
Opt for high-quality stainless steel screws and fasteners. Yes, they’ll cost you a little more, but they’ll also extend the life of your deck.
Check the compatibility of your screws and your deck boards. For example, you can’t use any other than ACQ screws with pressure-treated lumber. These are the only once that won’t corrode.
Hidden fasteners are a popular option as well. They don’t leave any screws on the surface of the deck. This way, the construction looks flawless and clean.
Long extension cord
You will need one for the saw and one for the drill. Make sure the cord reaches from the power outlet in your house to the farthest point on the deck you’re building. Get as many as you need to power all the tools you’ll be using in the building process.
Ending thoughts on what tools do I need to build a deck?
If you’re just starting out on your construction journey, or you just moved into a new home, these tools will come in handy for future projects.
On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned homeowner, you might already have some of these basic tools.
Of course, this is not a full list. These are just some of the best tools for building a deck. You might need to add some tools to your toolkit depending on your construction process. You can also forego some of the tools mentioned. For example, not every deck requires cement.
When buying new tools, stick to the rule that heavier is better. Generally speaking, the heavier the tool the higher quality, and the longer it will last you. In addition to that, heavier weight is good when cutting through boards or putting nails in.
When you’re buying a power tool, opt for the ones that are stronger, rather than those that have a variety of features. As a beginner, you don’t really need any additional features besides the basic ones, and all the models will have those.
Look for the tools that have more power. Power is referred to as amperage in corded tools, and toque in cordless tools. Don’t look at the RPMs (revolutions per minute) either. The speed of the machine is not as important as its power, and a speedy machine is not always the best one.
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