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What You Need To Know Before Starting Your DIY Deck Build Project

Are You Ready to Build Your Own Deck Build Project?

The first step in your DIY deck project journey is to decide if you’re really ready for it. The deck building process will vary. Are you looking to extend your existing deck? Are you looking to revamp your existing deck? Or, maybe you’re building a brand new outdoor living space?


Whether you are refinishing an existing deck, or building one from start, before your build, you should consider the following for your substructure:
Will you need to build a new substructure from scratch?
Do you have an existing substructure you’ll refinish?
Or, are you planning a bit of both by extending your deck?
Have you fully inspect your substructure to ensure it is structurally sound?
Check for correct joist spacing and blocking, ensure there is no presence of mold, mildew, or rot, loose or rusted fasteners, or bent or damaged joists
Plan your Design & Shape
What shape deck will you build? (Note: Your deck’s height and shape may determine whether you need a building permit).
Will your deck need a railing (read further below)?

Some question you must ask before going forward:

Are you able to adhere to local building codes and secure a permit required by your municipality?
Will your deck have any complex features, and are you able to install those features?
Do you have and are you comfortable using the tools you’ll need to build your own deck?
Will you have someone to assist you in the build?

Choose the Right DIY Decking Materials

As far as the highest-performance DIY decking materials go, we recommend composite decking for the flooring. While we do not offer this product, please reach out to use for recommendations.

For the Deck Railings:

Railing options and considerations:
There’s no deck project that would be complete without railing. S&L Spindles Railing Materials are designed with the utmost quality and design, meaning peace of mind and minimal maintenance for you.

Ensure Your Deck Will Adhere to Code-Related Railing Requirements

If your deck is below 30” off the ground, it likely will not require a railing. If your deck is higher than 30” at any point in the design, then that section will require a railing for residential code compliance and safety. As always, we strongly recommend you check with your local municipality building codes for railing requirements.

Even if your deck height does not require a railing, you may still choose to install a railing as a design element or for practical reasons like keeping individuals from stepping off into your deck’s exquisitely landscaped perimeter.

DIY Considerations for Your Railing

The S&L Railing Catalog offers numerous railing options, and additional deck building materials. From the modern Moulded Railing to the beautifully crafted New England Railing designs, all of our options are affordable and made of the highest quality standards.

Helpful Resources

Browse through our most popular how-to guides and other resources.

How-tos - Deck & Railing Installation Guides

How-To Guides

We have many short Do It Yourself articles on all of our products. For example, if you are looking for advice on working with our spindles, click here.

Baluster & Spindles Calculator

Baluster Calculator

Easily determine the perfect space between railing spindles and figure out how many you'll need with our convenient baluster calculator.

S&L Spindles Shipping Info

Shipping Info

All of our products can be shipped directly to you. Most of our items ship within 3 days. Delivery cost will appear as you add items to your shopping cart.