UglyDeck DIY University

DIY Helpline: (952) 895-6076


Click a topic to start learning!

  • Demolition
  • Framing
  • Decking
  • Spiral Stairs
  • Westbury Railing
  • Fortress Railing
  • AFCO Railing
  • Gate Installation
  • Heartland Pergola
  • Pool Deck Framing
  • Tips and Decorating


Deck Wrecker


Recommended Tools


  • Eye Protection
  • Hearing Protection
  • Dust Mask
  • Gloves
  • Kneepads

Wood Work

  • Extension Cord
  • Circular Saw
  • Drills and Bits
  • Hammer
  • Nail Set
  • Chisel
  • Handsaw
  • Ladder
  • Mallet
  • Tool Belt
  • Miter Saw

Wood Layout

  • Tape Measure
  • Squares: Rafter/Speed, Framing
  • Level/Levels
  • Chalk Line
  • Pencils
  • Plumb Bob


Joist Blocking & Spacing: What You Need to Know

Learn how to properly block and space your joists for a healthy deck substructure. A guided video, step-by-step instructions, and helpful visuals take the guesswork out of building your own deck.

Learn Joist Spacing

Attaching Stair Stringers

Install a piece of blocking below the rim joist to extend the attachment surface for your stairs stringers.

Measure down from the top of the deck and mark the top of your stair stringers with a level. For example, if each stair will be 6 3/8" finished height, we will measure down 7 3/8" to compensate for the missing stair tread.

Mark the location for each stair stringer. Most wood stairs use 16" on center. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for composite decking. Most composite decking materials require 12" or even 10" on center spacing.

Bend your stair stringer connectors to the correct angle. Hold the connector under the stringer and raise the stringer to the proper height. Then, mark the height of the connector. Repeat for each stringer attachment. Use 10d - 1.5" hot-dipped galvanized nails.

Nail the stair stringer connectors into place. Then, nail the 2x12 stair stringers to the connector side flange and bottom.


Decking Installation

How to Install TimberTech AZEK Decking With TOPLoc® Color-Matched Screws

Learn to install TimberTech AZEK decking with TOPLoc, with step-by-step instructions including which tools to use and how to calculate deck board spacing.

Install Azek Decking

How to Install TimberTech PRO® & EDGE® Decking With CONCEALoc® Hidden Clip Fasteners

Install TimberTech PRO & EDGE decking with CONCEALoc, with step-by-step instructions including which tools to use and application guidelines.

Install Pro/Edge Decking

How to Install AZEK Decking With Cortex® Hidden Fasteners

Install TimberTech AZEK decking with Cortex, with step-by-step instructions including which tools to use and tips for deck board spacing.

Install Azek Decking

Deck Picture Framing

How to Picture Frame a Deck

Get the steps you need to learn how to picture frame a deck, including guidance on proper framing, blocking, cutting, and fastening.

Learn Picture Framing


Deck Fascia Board Installation With TOPLoc Fasteners

Install TOPLoc hidden fasteners for AZEK and TimberTech to your composite deck for a seamless deck fascia board application.

Install Fascia Boards

Spiral Stairs

Fortress Railing

Fortress Railing

AFCO Railing

AFCO Railing

Gate Installation

Gate Installation

Pool Deck Framing

Pool Deck Framing

This video shows a sandwich style beam (not recommended). Please consult your DIY team for the preferred beam method.

Tips and Decorating

Tips and Decorating

DIY Composite Deck Project Guide

This guide breaks down each stage of the DIY composite deck journey, including installation tips for decking, railing, and lighting, plus design ideas.

Explore DIY Options

10 Tips for Installing Composite Decking

Review everything you need to know about installing composite decking — from proper attire, to the 411 on fasteners, and more.

Learn Install Tips

Deck Decorating Ideas: The Finishing Touch to Your DIY Outdoor Space

We dive into deck decorating ideas sure to elevate your outdoor living space, from fresh furniture to tall-growing greenery.

Complete Your DIY Deck


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