Platform Deck Under Our Deck Stairs
The area under our deck stairs has always been a source of angst, it stopped growing grass years ago and good thing because you can’t really mow under it, oh and it can grow weeds! We thought surely we could use it for something, we contemplated putting the garbage/recycle cans there, storing lawnmower and various outside tools, just throw some rocks down so weeds cannot grow, but ultimately I decided to, you guessed it, build another deck! Basically a little platform deck where we can add planters, or pillows/cushions for my pets or kids to sit on and enjoy the backyard.
We started by clearing the area of weeds.
Then added a layer of Easy Gardener WeedBlock Fabric.
Decided where it made sense to add the posts and at what height. Since no one over 5 feet can walk on it we tried to keep it as low as possible. As you can see we also have a few posts to contend with. So my husband kindly dug four holes, poured Quikrete Fast Setting Concrete into the holes one at a time. I measured and cut the small 4″x4″ deck posts to the correct length then held each one level while the concrete set.
I cut the 2×4’s to length and secured with several 3″ deck screws.
I added one more 2×4 down the center so the deck floor boards would not sway in the middle, plus a few vertical 2×4 midspan supports to ensure the 2×4’s are level from post to post.
In hindsight I would have used 4×4 posts in concrete to ensure it’s rigidity. If I find it needs something stronger I’ll just removed any floor boards and add at a later time.
The next day I got up and cut the 5/4 x 6″x10′ deck boards into two pieces 5 feet long. I laid them out before securing to be certain they would fit and sure enough I was short by 1 board! On a side note, I had video of this entire project. My external hard drive unexpectedly fried, so all of my pictures and videos are gone from this part of the project, boo!!! Once the boards were laid out I began attaching each board with two screws per 2×4, so 6 screws/board. I screwed them in place with 3″ deck screws. There are lots of deck spacers available for sale, but since this is such a small project I didn’t bother making the investment. I read that some people use 16d common nails, oddly enough we had a box on hand, not sure why… I hammered one nail into the 2×4 on each side of the deck board for all three of my 2×4 “joists” Since some of the deck boards aren’t perfectly straight, it was so much easier having the added security of the nails holding the boards in place while I screwed in the screws, it was like having an extra set of hands. I arrived at several posts and had to notch the deck boards around it, that was my first time so I did waste one 5′ board. It started getting dark and I had been working on this most of the day so I decided to leave notching the last board for the next day.
With two posts interfering with one board I had to notch the board twice. So I opted to cut the board into two pieces and work on the notching separately. For this post I simply made one straight cut to butt up against the post and for this post a very small notch to match the overhang on the other side of the platform using a beat up jig saw.
For the other side, I measured from the overhang of the wood to the back of the first post and cut a notch to go around the post. I actually have video of that ordeal but there were a few choice words throughout that is not very becoming so I decided to spare you…
With a deck skirt cap attached you can’t see any of the rough edges.
When the weather will cooperate and not rain for at least one day, I will update this page with pictures of it painted. Finally our little spot under our stairs won’t be embarrassing but a nice continuation of our patio. Stay tuned…
~Finally able to enjoy our itty bitty deck with some fabulous weather!~
As always thanks so much for stopping by!!
Within the page I’ve noted the materials I used, here’s a list of the tools:
- Chop saw
- Jig saw for notching wood
- Electric Screwdriver
- Measuring tape
In case you missed it, here’s a link to DIY Repair Deck Railing and Stair Treads