How to Build a Freestanding Deck With Pier Blocks


Pier blocks (18) (18)

pieces of treated timber measuring 2 by 6 inches and 8 feet in length (8)

pieces of treated timber measuring 2 by 6 inches and 12 feet in length (20)

Power screwdriver!!-!!!!-!!!!-!! Screws for the deck!!!-!!! rope measuring one quarter of an inch Tape

Carpenter’s square

Bubble level


Hand tamper

Contractor-grade landscaping cloth


The building of decks is regulated by the rules of many different municipalities. Before you begin construction, make sure you are familiar with the requirements of your local area.

The construction of deck steps may become extremely challenging at times. Instead of constructing outdoor stairs out of wood, it is recommended to go to a hardware shop and buy a prefabricated set of metal steps that can be easily bolted together.

A good number of home and garden shops provide rental services for high-capacity power screwdrivers that are appropriate for the building of a deck.


The construction of a deck that is detached from the house and freestanding using pier blocks is a simple process. It only takes one day of labour for the typical do-it-yourself homeowner with basic carpentry skills to construct a deck that is not only attractive but also functional. With only a ladder frame and some pier blocks, you can construct a freestanding deck of 12 by 8 feet without having to cut or hammer any wood.

Arrange the concrete pier blocks so that there are six columns and three rows between each one. The distance between the centres of the individual piers should be roughly 28 inches, and the height of the columns should be 11 feet 10 1/2 inches from the centre of the first pier to the centre of the final pier. The distance between piers in each row should be 3 feet, and the rows themselves should measure 6 feet from the centre of the first pier to the centre of the final pier.

To ensure that the foundation is perfectly square, place an 8-foot portion of lumber on the first and final row of blocks, and then use a 12-foot section to create a basic rectangle out of wood using the timber as a guide. According to the carpenter’s square, the end pieces of each section of wood should be joined together and have a square shape. If not, make the necessary adjustments to the piers.

Put some tape on the very top of the very first pier on the very first column, and then run a cord all the way down the column until it reaches the very top of the very last pier. Utilize a bubble level to get an accurate reading of the length of the cord. If a pier has to be altered so that a level line may be created along the column, then some earth can be taken out from beneath the pier or added to it as appropriate. Always use a tamper to compact any additional soil that you add. Continue to level each column using the same method until the structure along the columns is level.

  1. Transfer the rope to the first row, then check to see that all of the rows are level in the same way. If you alter the position of a row pier, you will need to remeasure the level of the column it is in to ensure that it has not altered as a result of your adjustment. Continue to measure and modify the foundation until it is level throughout its whole.

  2. Landscape fabric should be wrapped around the internal foundation piers in order to fill the gaps that are left between the concrete pier blocks. On top of the foundation, layer between one and two inches of gravel. This will prevent grass and weeds from growing beneath the deck and offer drainage so that it will not retain moisture in the shadow of the deck. Additionally, this will prevent the deck from becoming shady.

  3. Place six of the lumber pieces that are 8 feet long into the slots on top of the piers that run down each row. Ensure that there is an equal quantity of wood hanging over each of the six piers that run along both sides. Because this is a frame for a ladder, you may think of them as the “steps” on the ladder.

  4. Place one of the lumber pieces measuring 12 feet at the butt end of the boards measuring 8 feet. The ladder will be constructed using this as the “side.” Make sure that the square is correct by using the carpenter’s square on either end.

  5. Install three screws into the 12-foot stretch of timber, one into the butt end of each 8-foot portion, and one into the 12-foot section itself. Put a helper at the other end of the planks that are 8 feet in length. To complete the task in a shorter amount of time, push each one against the twelve-foot length. To finish constructing the structure of the ladder, attach a second 12-foot length to the other side of the deck in the same way as the first.

  6. Position the first 12-foot portion so that it is against the end of the ladder and on top of the frame. Use the carpenter’s square to square up the four corners of the section, and then screw through the section and into the frame below along the length of the section. When you are finished, attach the next component to the frame and make sure the corners are snug. Put that part at the bottom of the list as the first one. You will need to keep adding parts until the deck is complete.

  7. Set one of the 12-foot lumber sections along the butt end of the 8-foot boards. This will be the “side” of the ladder. Check the square again on each end with the carpenter’s square

  8. Install three screws through the 12-foot lumber section and into the butt end of each 8-foot section. Have an assistant on the other end of the 8-foot boards press each one against the 12-foot section to make the job go faster. Attach another 12-foot section to the other side of the deck in the same manner to create a completed ladder frame.

  9. Place the first 12-foot section on top of the ladder frame and against the end. Square the section corners with the carpenter’s square then screw through the section into the frame below along the length of the section. Add the next section to the frame and butt the corners together tightly. Screw that section down as the first one. Continue to add sections until the deck is finished.