| | | |

Building the Deck, Part II

I’m finally back with the second part of the deck post. Let’s just pick up where we left off last week, which was with a fully assembled deck frame.

deck frame

We used pine for the frame but decided to spring for cedar for the top, since it looks nice and it’s naturally moisture resistant (which means it’s less prone to twisting, cracking and swelling. Basically it lays flat.)

delivered cedar

Before attaching them to the joists we went ahead and sealed the backside using Flood CWF-UV.


Then it was time to attach the decking. I know that in the previous post I said that neither Adam or I had ever built a deck before, but I lied…I’ve totally built a deck before. I’m kinda an old pro.

old pro

That deck was built using the old “nails through the top technique”, but we had a different plan for this one.

Kreg Deck Jig

This is the deck jig, made by Kreg Jig and stainless steel deck screws. If you read regularly you know how much Adam and I love Kreg Jig, their tools are well made and make projects much quicker and easier. Plus it’s just a great company with humble beginnings. (BTW, this isn’t a sponsored post (I’m not being paid) but they did send me the jig to for free. They also sent me one to giveaway – enter at the end of the post).

The point of using the deck jig is to attach the decking to the joists without having any visible nail or screw heads. To accomplish this you use the jig to attach the boards from the sides rather than the top.  I know it sounds kinda odd…pictures will help…

build your own deck

The advantages of doing the is that not only do you not see any of the screws, but you put a screw on each side on the board (angled toward each other), which keeps the board from lifting  in the future. It also prevents nails or screws from popping up and ripping the flesh from the bottom of your unsuspecting bare feet.

First you space out your boards using the included spacers (red for a smaller gap and blue for a larger – we used red), then you drill your holes using the jig, just like in the above photo (make sure you drill the directly above the joists). Here are some pictures of Adam and I working, complements of our four-year old.

building a deck

It’s recommend that you use the jig for both drilling the holes and adding the screws, but in order finish the deck quickly I screwed them in without the jig while Adam drilled all the holes. The whole process was simple and went pretty quickly, I don’t think attaching the decking the old-fashioned way could have gone much faster.

Here it is about halfway finished, it looks like we just laid the boards out, but they are fully attached.

laying decking

and here is what the screws look like up close…

what the screws look like using the deck jig

When we got to the end Adam trimmed the joists so that they wouldn’t hang out past the last piece of decking.

Trimming the deck

In order to fully secure the last board he did have to do a row of exposed screws. You can avoid this is you lay the decking running away from your house instead of parallel, but in order to make the most of the wood we went with this configuration instead.

end piece

To finish it off Adam added some skirting around the outside to hide the beams and joists underneath (though we still need some landscaping to fully hide it.)

Then I sealed the entire thing with more Flood CWF-UV sealer… though it needs another coat or two, because right as I was finishing (and before it dried) it started pouring rain. It hadn’t rained all summer…go figure.

Anyway, here it is!

building a small deck with the deck jig

I know, the backyard is a hot mess and the deck looks like an afterthought. Baby steps. Also, I just noticed that there is a stuffed animal on the roof. Sigh.

deck progress before and after

We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s a good start to a usable back yard. And it HAS been keeping the dirt out of my house, which is a serious perk. Plus the deck is now where my kids eat all their drippy summer snacks like watermelon and popsicles, also saving me cleaning. This things already paying for itself.

keep the dirt out

Now, for the part where I get to give away a deck jig and screws. I know fall is a weird time to be giving away decking supplies, but spring will be here before you know it. Plus, if your weather is anything like mine winter is the perfect time to build a deck. Here is what is up for grabs…

Deck Jig

Deck Jig kit (which includes 100 Protec-Kote™ deck screws, 6″ Deck Jig™ drill bit, 6″ KTX square driver bit, (3) 5/16” spacer rings, (3) 1/4” spacer rings, (2) stop collars, (1) Allen wrench and instructional DVD) and two boxes of Protec-Kote deck screws (1400 screws total).

Enter using the rafflecopter below. I’m a little hesitant to say this because I’m paying for shipping out-of-pocket (and 1400 screws isn’t light), but this giveaway is open to readers worldwide. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Similar Posts


  1. I didn’t even know they made one of these for a deck. I’m still trying to decide between a wood deck and a paver patio. A wood deck seems like less work.

    1. I had my heart set on a rock patio…there is half of one in the backyard (now buried under grass) that we’re never going to finish. The deck is much easier!

  2. Hooray for less dirt in the house and a place for messy snacks! I loved the stuffed animal on the roof. And the pictures from your four year old are excellent.

  3. Yay, progress! What a huge difference it makes, especially looking out from inside the door. That must be a welcome change of view! I’m very impressed with Elijah’s picture-taking. You have heads – seems to me that’s an improvement from his first attempts, if memory serves. ;) And the picture of little you is adorable. Shirtless and working with tools – it’s easy to see where your kids get it, lol. I hope you’re feeling well and doing well :)

    1. He is definitely getting better.. you should see him crouching in ridiculous positions to get the perfect shot (just like his mom).

      I’m feeling much better these days, thank you! The nausea is 100% gone and I make it to about 10:30 before passing out :)

  4. We have to build a deck, not looking forward to it, but you make it look manageable! yours turned out great, can’t wait to see how you finish it off!

  5. Those are some great pictures that Elijah took! :) And the stuffed animal on the roof…. I busted up. That’s hilarious and REAL. Love it :)

  6. Been wanting one of these for a long time. I have a deck that needs re-covered and a new one added to our card room. I think it would save a 60+ old man a lot of work. My old deck on the house is peeling up and splitting. Dangerous to use so only the cats are allowed on it.

  7. Wow KREG has really made it easy for anyone to put up a desk! I really hope I win this package. We’ve been waiting all summer for it to cool off enough to build our desks (yes, more than one). Thanks for the tutorial and the giveaway. I hope you remembered to rescue that stuffed animal from the roof! Have a blessed day!

  8. Your deck looks great! I hope to do something similar (albeit smaller) out my back door – I also need a cover over it because I hope to store some things on it (dog food, chicken scratch, etc.) Any chance you’ll put up a patio cover so I can see how to do it? Any chance you’d come to the Wimberley area and practice on one at my house, lol? Just kidding … but if you’re in the area … :-)

    1. We aren’t planning to put up a cover…just a bench, steps, a table and lights. Sorry…I bet you can find a great tutorial through google though!

      We were actually in Wimberly a few weekends ago watching a play at the Emily Ann theater. It’s such a pretty city!

  9. I will taking up my deck very shortly, and redoing it. I was really thinking about getting the deck jig. By the way you did a great job on your deck, I love cedar you just have to go to the right place to buy it, the big box stores really don’t carry top grade cedar.

  10. Yay for a deck! We finally redid ours and it’s so nice! I have to say, I think doing the Kreg thing is kind of doing it the hard way…but apparently I’m the only one who thinks so here. :^)
    I just got my new issue of BHG magazine and it looks like the singer whose house they featured must read your blog…her dining room looks EXACTLY like yours! Down to the same kind of table and everything! Just thought I’d let you know. :^)

    1. When we first got the deck jig in the mail Adam was convinced it was gong to make the process much slower, but he really liked it and said he will use it for future decks.

      I just dug around and found the picture you are talking about, and your right they do look REALLY similar! She even did the planking over drywall. Her dining room is whiter and cleaner than mine though…but if BHG came to my house mine you look pretty darn spotless too :)

  11. Ashley, what type of building materials would you need to build a deck like the one that you’re building? It reminds me about the project that I’ll be needing to do over the weekend. Ever since buying the home with my wife, she’s been giving me ideas about building a deck on the backyard for entertainment.

  12. Hello,
    Great job on the deck with the Kreg jig. It’s been almost two years now, how is it holding up? Are you happy with the results from the Kreg and your choice of sealer? We have a deck project in our near future as well, so I’m interested!

    1. We are very happy with the results from the kreg jig, no complaints there at all. The sealer, however, held up horribly. We are about to list our house for sale and will be resealing it (with something different) very soon.

      1. Great feedback, thanks! I’ve been looking at the Kreg and CAMO methods and worried about the boards splitting over time. Good to hear it’s holding up.
        For the stain, if you just want to get something easy and inexpensive on it, I highly recommend Sun Frog. http://www.sunfrogwoodsealers.com/products/woodsealer.html
        Very easy, does a good job of protecting and beautifying, inexpensive. Just maybe not the longest lasting.
        For a long lasting product go with Penofin. http://www.penofin.com

  13. Incredible employment on the deck with the Kreg dance. It’s been just about two years now, how is it holding up? It is safe to say that you are content with the outcomes from the Kreg and your decision of sealer? We have a deck venture in our not so distant future also, so I’m intrigued!

  14. I wonder if you could use this jig to apply plywood flooring inside, Looks like itP would work

  15. Ashley

    This looks like so much fun! You all did such a fantastic job. Everyone pay attention, the look of natural wood is so beautiful and the above images prove that point. This makes me want to order some lumber and build a new deck!

  16. Always wanted a Kreg jig ..thought it above my intelligence in woodworking. Your deck looks great

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *