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How to build Rectangular Decks
Step 1: Place the two corner Dek-Block® piers closest to the house.
Set them directly on the soil. If the ground is sloped, remove some top soil from directly underneath the block until the block sits level. The blocks should be as close to the house as possible. Verify the correct distance between the blocks by referencing the dimensions found on the plan. The outside edge of the finished deck will extend out past the center of the Dek-Block® piers by 13 1/2" on both sides.
There is no such thing as a perfectly level yard. I get a lot of calls and e-mails from people who try not to use 4x4 posts. The best tip I can give anyone building a rectangular deck is to use 4x4 posts, even if you only have a very slight slope of the yard. Leveling every block to each other is very difficult and time consuming. If you need a 2-1/4" 4x4 post, make the cut. It takes about 90 seconds to measure and cut,and the post only weighs a few pounds. Moving a block up or down to an exact measurement takes 4 to 10 minutes per block. Remember, these are 42 lb. blocks you're working with. Save your back for carrying the cooler onto the deck when you're done.
Don't spend an excessive amount of time leveling the dek-Block® piers . The block does not need to be perfect. The block can be leveled with only your eye. If the block looks level move on, using a framing level is unnecessary. Any slight difference will be made up with the 4"x4" post. However, you want to make sure the Dek-Block® piers are sitting FLAT. You do not want any rocking of the piers on the ground.