The Essential Tools you need to Build a Deck


Decking is among the easier forms of home improvement. It’ll add considerable utility and value to your home, almost overnight, while providing you with an outdoor living space to unwind in. Building a terrace is well within the means of a half-competent DIYer, equipped with a little bit of confidence and a well-detailed guide.

But to stand the best chance of success, you’ll need to attack the project armed with the best possible tools. Let’s run through a few of them.

Measuring Tape

Your measuring tape should be rugged enough to be easily handled, and resistant to any adverse weather you might run into outdoors. It should therefore be metal, and long enough to stretch from one side of your decking to the other.

Laser Level

A laser level is a device that will make the process of lining up straight edges that much easier. Laser levels come in a variety of configurations: some project the beam straight down; others project it horizontally, in a line. Look for a green laser level: these are the most visible and power-efficient.

Spirit Level

As well as a laser level, you’ll want a spirit level so you can perform quick spot-checks around your new decking. Look for something that’s several feet long, that’s metal and that’s robust.


A claw hammer will allow you to bash in new nails, and remove old ones. Look for something that’s easy to handle, with a nice weight to it.


A ladder is an essential piece of equipment, especially if you’re going to be building a roof for your decking. You don’t want to be wielding a hammer (or any other tool) while you’re stretching way overhead.

A Square

If you need a quick and efficient means of measuring a short distance, or ensuring that a given angle truly is ninety-degree, then it’s difficult to beat the set square. Look for one that comes with both imperial and metric.

Circular Saw

If you’re going to be working with wood, rather than merely assembling it, then you’ll need the right saw. A circular saw will allow you to keep things perfectly straight, provided you’ve got the right support and expertise.

Cordless Drill

Modern lithium-ion batteries make it possible to wield a drill even when you’re at the bottom of the garden. A decent cordless drill should be an essential purchase for a range of tasks around the home.


If you’re going to build a frame deck, then you’ll need fasteners that are capable enough that the whole thing won’t fall apart. If you’re building a wooden deck, then foundation screws with an indentation will ensure maximum clamping.