How to Build a Portable Deck

Lead Image for How to Build a Portable Deck
  • 16-24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 700-1,800
What You'll Need
Three-Inch Deck Screws
Two-by-Six Lumber of Choice
Four-by-Four posts
Screw gun
Measuring Tape
Circular Saw

There are several reasons one might want to build a portable deck as opposed to a permanent deck. If you rent your home, you may want a deck but do not want to invest a large amount of money into someone else's property. You may like to change the layout or decor of your outdoor living space frequently, or you may not have the money to build the entire deck all at one time. Regardless of the reason a portable deck appeals to you, it is easy to build a deck in portable sections that will last many years. Here you will find the information needed to do so.

Step 1 - Determine the Size

First, you will want to determine the size of a section that you will want to build. You certainly do not want to build the portable decking so that it is impossible to manage or move. You will also want to take into consideration the area that you want to locate the decking. Here, we will focus on building a four foot by four-foot section.

Step 2 - Get Good Lumber

There are a variety of types of wood that can be used for the decking. While some, like untreated pine, are not meant to be used as decking materials, they are an affordable option and can last a long time if properly maintained. Pressure-treated wood is ideal. Regardless of the type, inspect each piece to ensure that it is free of warping, cracks, or excessive knots.

Step 3 - Make Your Cuts

Cut the wood for the supports to the desired length, in this case, 46 inches. For the supports, use the two-by-six pieces of wood. Use the tape measure to accurately measure the length, and the circular saw the make the cuts. Lay three lengths on their narrow sides. Cut four lengths of the two-by-six at 48 inches, lay them on their narrow side to boxing in the three supports, and frame the three supports in using your screw gun and screws. Place two screws at each end of the supports.

Step 4 - Cut Planking

You will cut the planking to lay side by side, broad side down, out of the two-by-six lumber. Mark several lengths at 48 inches and make your cuts. You will need about eight. Lay these side by side on the framing at even intervals. If there is any space between the planks, make sure it is even. As the wood weathers, it will expand and contract. Many times, even if laid side by side, eventually a small gap will form. Secure the planks with screws into the framing.

Step 5 - Make Legs

Cut the four-by-four into eight-inch lengths. Flip your deck over onto the top. Fit a leg into each corner and secure it with screws. Flip your decking back over and apply stain or sealant.