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Published April 23, 2011 More Info »
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Published April 23, 2011

Having a deck is probably the greatest signifier of achieving the American dream next to owning an iPhone.  And so many times I have traveled to the homes of friends who are deckless.  I’m not judging, but it’s pathetic.  Even though most of these people live in apartments, I’m quite certain they would find a way to build a deck off of their fire escape if they just had the know-how. 

Step 1:  Find a place where you would like to have a deck. 
Make sure there isn’t one there already.  Get excited about the fact that you will soon have a deck.  Think about the barbecues, family gatherings, and general deck fun you will have.

Step 2:  Think about what you want the deck to look like. 
Do you want it to connect to your house?  Maybe you want it to look like the Millennium Falcon.  Draw up some specs (a blueprint) and approximate the measurements.  They don’t have to add up. 

Step 3:  Buy some wood and nails. 
True Value will have it, but they’re pricey and have a limited selection, kind of like Radio Shack.  Go to Home Depot or Lowe’s instead.  They’re giant stores with all types of wood and nails.  They sell paper towels and laundry detergent, too, for some reason, in case you are out. 

Step 4:  Bring the wood home and store it in your living room. 
If you are not strong enough, have someone else deliver the wood.  Otherwise, have some self-respect and do it yourself.  Store the lumber in your living room so you and your family can get to know the lumber that you’ll soon be spending so much time with.  Think about what you might like to name your deck. 

Step 5:  Stain the wood. 
Before any construction project, it is important to already have the lumber stained the proper color.  Make sure you do this outside or in a ventilated area, or else you might stop breathing. 

Step 6:  Build the deck. 
Put the nails into the wood with a hammer, or some other heavy, blunt object, like a meat tenderizer or a baseball bat.  Use a saw or a sharp knife to cut the wood to an approximate length.

Step 7:  Give the deck time to settle. 
Nails need at least 2 weeks to “harden”.  In the meantime, think about Step 8.

Step 8:  Decorate your deck. 
Add a picnic table, potted plants, and a wind chime.  Use yellow paint to mark all areas of the deck that are dangerous. 

Enjoy your deck!

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