Outdoor Living Spaces

How to Build a Tree-Encompassing Deck

Bring nature into your outdoor entertaining area with a deck built around existing trees.

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Materials Needed:

  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • spool of nylon string
  • speed square
  • hammer
  • rubber mallet
  • hand saw
  • chop saw
  • line level
  • jigsaw
  • post digger
  • L bracket
  • safety goggles
  • gloves
  • 1/8" drill bit
  • drill
  • wood stakes
  • floor joists
  • joist hangers
  • 2x6x16 pressure-treated boards
  • 4x4x8 pressure-treated boards
  • 3" outdoor wood screws
  • 1 5/8" outdoor wood screws
  • 2 1/2" deck screws
  • 50-lb. bags of fast-dry cement
  • 5 gallon bucket or a cement mixing tub
  • 5 1/4" decking boards
  • 1 gallon of deck stain
  • broom
  • damp cloth or towel
  • paint roller handle
  • roller sleeve
  • extender pole

Mark Corners

Choose a level area of the yard where trees provide plenty of shade. Use measuring tape to get dimensions of the area where the deck will sit. Once the proper location is determined, use wood stakes to mark where each corner of the deck will be. Stick the stakes in by hand for soft ground, and use a hammer or rubber mallet for harder ground.

Outline Deck

Create an outline for the length, width and shape of the deck by unfurling nylon string from the spool and wrapping it around each post until a solid outline is created.

Determine Ground's Highest Point

Find the highest point of the ground where the deck will sit. This will determine the overall top surface height for the deck.

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