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Build a two-level deck

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : 5 Days

Outdoor kitchen, open-air living room or playground: however you use it, a deck is your ticket to making the most of summer. It’s also the kind of asset that will increase the value of your home.

Building a deck is a project for experienced DIYers to be completed over several days. The attached plan is for a deck on two levels: a 10' x 8' lower level and 11' 7" x 14' upper level, for a total of 19' 7" x 14'. This deck is also partially covered by a pergola and enhanced with a flower planter.


Tools and materials required


  • Gardener’s hoe
  • Chalk line
  • Hammer
  • Drill bit
  • Level
  • Shovel
  • Electric drill
  • Hammer drill (for masonry walls)
  • Pickets
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Square



  • Concrete blocks
  • Treated wood (trellis, beams, posts, ramps, steps)
  • Bolts
  • Reinforcing wire
  • Caulking
  • Bags of pre-mixed concrete
  • Cylindrical forms (Sonotubes®)
  • Lag screws
  • Reinforcing mesh
  • Anchoring screws
  • Galvanized screws and nails
  • Beam brackets


Before Assembly


Two-level deck elevation



Treated wood should be handled with precautions.

  • Wear gloves and long sleeves when handling treated wood to avoid skin contact with and to protect against splinters.
  • Wear dust mask, eye protection, gloves and long sleeves when sawing, sanding or shaping treated wood to avoid skin contact with or inhalation of sawdust, to protect against splinters and to protect eyes from flying particles. When making cross cuts use a cut sealer as the factory-treatment rarely goes to the heartwood.
  • During construction:
  • Apply an appropriate "end-cut" preservative to protect exposed, untreated wood.
  • Use nails, screws, bolts, connectors and other hardware resistant to corrosion: stainless steel, hot-dipped galvanized, yellow zinc or specially coated for outdoor use. Ordinary fasteners will rust, causing unsightly stains, and will weaken and fail.
  • Make certain the wood is thoroughly dry before painting or staining, and follow the coating manufacturer's recommendations. Use only good quality oil or acrylic coatings on water repellent pressure treated wood.
  • Regularly apply a stain or a water-resistant product to waterproof the wood and reduce leaching: every two years on floors and every four years for all other surfaces.
  • Do not dispose of treated wood remnants or sawdust in compost heaps, wood chips, or mulch and do not use it as animal bedding or litter.
  • Never burn treated wood.

The National Building Code of Canada establishes guidelines for the construction of buildings and various structures, including decks. However, these standards can vary depending on the local building requirements in effect in a particular province or municipality.
For instance, in the case of a deck, the height of the deck’s surface above the ground determines the requirement for the railing height:
Height of deck = Height of railing

  • Under 24" = Optional or decorative railing
  • 24" to 5' 10" = 36"
  • Over 5' 10" = 42"

Also note that the maximum distance between the balusters and under the bottom rail is 4". For a stairway, the treads should be no less than 9 ¼" deep and the risers no more than 8" high.

Always check the local building requirements for your area before beginning any such construction project.


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Two-level deck with a pergola


Build a two-level deck