Building a Deck on Uneven Ground

  • 24-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 2,000-6,000
What You'll Need
Finely crushed gravel
Edge restraint
Plate compactor
2-y-4 lumber
Wooden stakes
Line level
Landscaping stakes
Hand tamper
1-inch diameter PVC pipes
Masonry sand

Having a deck or patio on your property is a good way of enjoying fresh air during summer days but if you have uneven ground in your yard, building one might pose some complications. The key to building a good deck is to have a properly prepared foundation, and doing it on the ground that is not even is a common problem with most homeowners. It is also one that can easily be overcome. You will need to gather the necessary materials and tools though before beginning the project in order to finish it in a short time.

Step 1 - Marking the Area

Making use of the plan for your deck, mark out the perimeter of the structure by means of wooden stakes, which you will drive into the ground every few feet. Tie a string tightly in between the stakes.

Step 2 - Excavating the Area

Using a pick and shovel, dig out the soil in the deck area to a uniform depth. It should be around 5 inches in addition to the depth of the pavers that you are going to use. Level the excavated area using a rake. To compact the soil down, you can use a plate compactor or a hand tamper. Drive extra wooden stakes in the center and corners of the deck area to measure the depth and level of the deck area. Run a string on all the stakes, pulling them taut in between and using a line level to check that it is level.

Step 3 - Laying the PVC Pipes

Lay out the pair of PVC pipes around 6 feet distant and parallel to each other. Begin the task on a corner of the deck base.

Step 4 - Adding a Sand Layer

Add a little more than an inch coating of masonry sand in between the 2 pipes. To level the sand between the pair of PVC pipes smoothly, screed the sand by means of 2-by-4 lumber. Smooth the sand down to a 1-inch depth. You can do the job by holding the lumber in its middle portion, allowing its ends to rest on the 2 pipes and pulling it towards you. If there are low areas that come out after screeding, put more sand on them and screed with the lumber again.

Step 5 - Laying the Paver

Lay the first paver on a corner of the screeded mortar sand layer. Press it down firmly on the edge restraint sides and lower it on the sand base. Install the rest of the pavers using the same method. As a guide, you can use previously laid pavers or the edge restraint.

Step 6 - Working on the Next Portion

Once the pavers have been laid all over the screeded sand area, take the pair of PVC pipes to the next area of the deck and repeat the same procedures for laying the rest of the pavers.

Step 7-Filling with Sand

Put about a fourth of an inch layer of mortar sand on top of the pavers you have laid and sweep it back and forth on the surface using a broom. Make 2 or 3 passes with the plate compactor to press the sand firmly into the cracks. Sweep off the leftover sand.