Project Overview

In this video we show you how to set out a deck. This includes how to measure and mark out the height of your deck. We show you the 3-4-5 rule to make sure your deck is square, and teach you how to run string lines to mark the position of your stumps.
Continue to Step-by-step instructions.
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to build a deck
Effort Required

Weekend Project

Weekend Project

A project to keep you busy for a whole weekend

 
Tie tring
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Quick Tip

String lines are a useful tool to help you lay straight, level brick walls. When you need to squeeze string line through a thin gap, tie a loop around the point of your trowel and use that to push the string through. Instead of tying your string line off with knots, a much quicker way is to wrap it around a line block and use that to hold the string in place.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and mark out the perimeter of your deck
2 Bolt your temporary timber guides in place
3 Mark out your stump positions
  • Step 1. Measure and mark out the perimeter of your deck

    When making your measurements, it’s important to take into account the height of your decking and joists. In our case, we measured 22mm down from under the sill to allow for the decking and added 90mm to allow for joists – a total 112mm. We then marked this at each end of the sill. We also measure from the ground to this point to establish the height measurement. We then run our string lines at this height around the perimeter of the area. 

  • Step 2. Bolt your temporary timber guides in place

    Bolt your temporary timber guides in place around the perimeter of the decking area. Use your spirit level to make sure these are level. Mark on the timber where the end of the deck is and run a string line across. To check that your deck is square, use the 3-4-5 rule. That means you measure three metres from the sill edge, four metres across the front edge of the deck. Your deck is square when the diagonal line that connects these two points is five metres long.

  • Step 3. Mark out your stump positions

    Refer to your engineering specs to find out how far apart the stumps need to be. For this deck it is every 1500mm. Measure and mark every 1500mm from the sill out to the edge of the deck. Then mark every 1500mm and along the edge. Run string lines to create a grid, each intersecting point on the grid marks where your stumps need to go. Use marking spray paint to mark out these positions on the ground.
Get council approval forms 01:00

Decking Planning to build a deck Good preparation is the secret to any successful D.I.Y. project. We’ll take you through all the stages involved in getting ready to build a deck.

Man bolting temporary timber guides in place 04:24

Decking How to set out a deck Before you can build a deck, it’s important to do the groundwork. We’ll show you how to measure and run string lines to mark the height of your deck and position of your stumps.

Install other bearers 03:47

Decking How to install bearers and stumps for a deck To install an outdoor deck, you’ll need a solid foundation. We’ll show you how to sink the stumps and attach the bearers for your foundation.

Person cutting a check-out in the wall plate 02:57

Decking How to install joists for a deck Installing the joists for your decking is an important step in the project. We’ll show you how to install the joists that will form a strong foundation for your deck.

lay decking 02:46

Decking How to lay decking You can make the most of your outdoors and add real value to your home with a deck. We’ll take you through the steps involved in laying merbau decking.

Pre-drill holes to attach decking 05:17

Decking How to build modular decking Find out how to build your own outdoor living area with modular decking

Deck lights connected to power 02:07

Lighting How to install deck lights Turn your deck into a space you can use night and day. This video will show you how to install lights into your decking.

Person cleaning the deck with high pressure water cleaner 02:46

Decking How to choose and maintain decking for a beach house An outdoor deck is a great spot for entertaining. We’ll show you how to choose the right materials and finishing, and give you some maintenance tips.

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions which came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings team member.

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