How to Build a Multi-Level Deck

What You'll Need
Post hole digger

If you have an area of your garden that has a series of different layers, then one idea to make this area look good is to install a multi-level deck. These decks can be made to appear like stairs, or you can lay out a series of patio-like areas, one dropping down onto the other. The multi-level deck is a great way of leveling out a steeply sloping piece of land, and can also add eye catching detail to a patio or other garden feature. If you wish to add a multi-level deck, you will need to have a few essential home improvement skills, and this task may take you a weekend, or a holiday, in order to complete it properly.

Step 1 - Measuring the Wood

Before you begin, ensure that you have measured your wood accurately. You will need to different lengths of wood, the upper level being slightly smaller all the way around than the lower level. You should then measure off the lumber for the supports. Again, the deck footings should be different lengths, slightly longer for the upper than for the lower. When you have calculated all of the different weights needed, you will be ready to proceed with the measurements for your decking.

Step 2 - Installing the Ledger Boards

Remove any siding that you have at the bottom of your house, and instead fit enough ledger boards to cover the area which the decking will surround. These ledger boards should be placed high enough up the wall of the house to ensure that it is at the correct height for the supporting deck footers. You should then use some string and a spirit level to work out the positions and heights of the footers.

Step 3 - Digging the Holes

You are now ready to dig the post holes into which you will put the deck footing posts. Use a post hole digger for convenience. These holes will need to be deeper than the frost line in your local area, so ensure that you know where this is, and get guidance from your local authority on how deep the holes should be placed. Add the posts into the holes, and add a layer of concrete, which should be cured for 48 hours.

Step 4 - Adding the Decks

Attach long beams to your decking posts along both upper and lower decks. One beam should also be installed along the middle, at the height of the upper deck. Once these are in place, create a ledger beam for the lower deck by adding it to the bottom of the last upper deck beam. You can then add the layer of joists, to support the upper and lower decks, and then nail the decking into place on both levels. When these are all in place, add a layer of protective varnish, and leave to dry for 48 hours.