how to build a ground level deck

Want to extend your outdoor living space?  Looking to add curb appeal?  Knowing how to build a ground level deck can increase your entertaining and relaxing space. Keep reading for our top five tips on how to build a ground level deck that lasts.

Plan It Out

You don't need to be a professional contractor to build a ground level deck.  With a few simple tools and proper planning, you'll be on your way. 

Use & Size

Is this a safe place for your kids to play?  An entertainment and socializing area?  Knowing what you'll be using the space for will help you to make decisions on everything from deck material to location.

Think about the size of your yard.  How much of it do you want to be covered by your ground level deck?


There are a few things to consider when determining where you're going to build your deck:

  • Ground slope
  • Sun exposure
  • Distance from the house
  • Privacy concerns
Existing features (trees, posts, etc.)

By keeping these in mind, you'll be able to build in an optimal location based on your needs and current landscape.

Check Your Tools

While you don't need to be a professional to know how to build a ground level deck, you do need to have the right tools and materials.  Different tools are needed at different stages of the project. While you may need the same tool in a few different phases, each stage has unique material needs.  Both timber and solid composite deck boards are cut in the same way.  The scale of your project will determine if you which saw you use.

Prepare Your Site

Once you've ensured you have all your materials, you're ready to get started.  There are four easy steps to prepare your site.

1. Measure out your site

Measure the site according to your plan and outline it with the string and pins.  According to your plan
Clear plants, weeds, and rocks use an edger to cut into the lawn for a straight cut.  Once you've removed everything, check that the area is level.

2. Choose your decking surface

You can lay directly on the ground or add concrete pads for extra stability.  If you lay directly on the ground, make sure to cover the area in weed control fabric and cover it with gravel.

3. Build Your Ground Level Deck

Once you've prepped the site, it's time to cut the deck boards and build your sub-frame.  There are a few pro tips to follow when laying a deck.  First, do a dry run of the decking first to make sure you don't finish with just a sliver of a board.  To hide your joists, paint the tops of them black.  For timber decks, once you've laid the wood down, use a sander on cut ends and apply a grain preserver.

4. Finish Your Deck to Preserve It

If you're not using composite, weather can take a toll on your new deck.  Selecting a finish for your decking can be as much about style as it is about protecting your timber.  There are several different finishing options to choose from including paints, stains and decking oils.  If you're happy with the look of your deck and want a basic level of protection, consider a decking protector.  Whether you need help on how to build a ground level deck or how to stage your house to sell, check out our blog to find ways to streamline the real estate process from design to development.

About The Author

Hi, we're the Designblendz team! Our mission is to raise the standard of how the built environment is designed, visualized, and constructed by blending overlapping design disciplines that merge the virtual and physical world together.