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Planning Your Deck

Now that you've decided to build your deck you will need a complete set of plans for your deck. Most municipal building departments will require a plan before issuing a permit to begin construction. It's a good idea to inquire what level of detail your plan will require.

You have several options for creating a plan. The options include drawing a free hand plan on graph paper, drawing a plan using a CAD program, generating a plan from deck design software, and adopting a pre-drawn plan.

You should also have an idea of what materials you will use to build your deck. We recommend treated southern yellow pine or redwood. See our Lumber Guide for more information about lumber.

Your plan should include, at minimum, the size of your deck; the elevation of your deck, and the placement of your deck footings and an explanation of how you will create the footings.

Note to location of your property line, utilities, trees and other shrubbery or plants you intend to keep or relocate, and the general slope of the landscape. Your plan should include details for accomodating these items.

At this point you have should have some idea what the finished product will look like, where it will be built and what site preparations you may need to perform before starting construction.