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
Tie tring
View the video
00:32
×

How to tie a string line

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.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Hammer drill
  • Nail gun
  • Safety equipment
  • Spirit levels
  • Square

Materials

  • Engineers specs
  • Fixings
  • Planning permission
  • String line
  • Timber
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.

Choosing the right finish for your deck

Decking How to choose decking oil, paint or stain for your deck Choosing the perfect finish for your deck becomes lot simpler when you understand the differences between what’s on offer. Feast Watson takes us through some of the best finishes to suit all design desires—whether it’s matte, glossy, natural or colo...

A deck with lunge chair over looking a backyard

Decking Composite decking vs wood: The benefits of composite decking If you’re looking to install a new outdoor deck at home, or even refresh what you already have, you may want to consider installing composite decking boards instead of timber boards. Elton from Ekodeck explains some of the benefits of choosing compo...

good times decking.jpg

Decking Decking buying guide: modular decking systems Using a prefabricated modular decking system is a great way to enhance your outdoor space, big or small. The team at Good Times share more information about why you should buy one.

A deck with a family sitting on it

Decking Why choose HardieDeck? If you’re looking for a durable and low maintenance decking , you can’t go past HardieDeck™.

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.

clean deck 02:08

Decking How to clean a deck There’s nothing like giving your deck a thorough clean to bring it back to life.

outdoor decking

Decking Seven different deck design ideas A deck is a popular and easy way to extend your living area to the outdoors. Check out these seven different deck ideas from Bunnings Warehouse.

Close up of a vertical garden setting

Outdoor Living How to create a balcony garden Want to create a garden, herb garden or veggie garden on your balcony? Follow our steps to choose the best plants for your balcony and add some greenery to your home.

Protect your pillows and cushions 02:10

Outdoor Living How to protect outdoor furniture The winter rain and summer sun can take its toll on your outdoor furniture. But there are some simple things you can do to keep it looking good and last longer.

outdoor setting

Outdoor Living Get summertime ready When the sun’s out in force, we just want to get out there and enjoy it, but you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without supplies. Here are a few essentials to get you sorted.

small space

Outdoor Living How to decorate a small backyard Small backyards can be great to entertain in, especially as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer. Check out these great ways to make your outdoors the place to be this party season.

outdoor table with drink coolers 04:48

Outdoor Living D.I.Y. outdoor table with built-in drinks cooler Learn how easy it is to make an outdoor table with a built-in drinks cooler that can become the focal point for all your get-togethers. Learn more here.

playground

Outdoor Living Create your own playground at home With a bit of imagination and some D.I.Y., you can set up a whole world of fun and adventure for the kids in your own backyard. Whatever size space you have, check out these great ideas that will get the kids outdoors and active.

outdoor setting

Outdoor Living How to choose the perfect outdoor setting The right furniture can transform any outdoor space to a more liveable area, but how do you choose. Find out with this guide from Bunnings Warehouse.

completed pallet bar in backyard 03:40

Outdoor Living D.I.Y. wooden pallet wine bar This rustic-looking pallet bar will look great in your backyard or your home when you’re entertaining family and friends.

Health & Safety

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 that 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.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content