DIY: How To Build A Floating Deck On A Slope (Step-By-Step w/ Videos)

Do you have a hill in your backyard?

Do you want a deck there instead?

Are you interested in learning how to build a floating deck on a slope?


In this article, we’ll help you learn everything you need to know about the process of building a floating deck on a slope or a hill. You may think your yard is not ever going to be able to have a deck in it, but don’t worry! You’re sure to be able to get the deck you’ve always dreamed of if you follow the directions listed below.

But just how can a floating deck like this help you use your backyard if you live on a hill? It’s probably no secret to you that having a hill really limits what you can do. You can’t put out furniture or try to grill anywhere in your yard when everything’s just going to roll away from you!

By having a floating deck, you’ll have a level, even place where you can entertain your guests or have fun outdoors with your family. You’ll have tons of room to spread out and truly enjoy your backyard without having to worry about the hill issue at all. And when the time comes to sell your home, you’ll have a little more value available, too.

Read on to get started on this fun and rewarding project!


building a deck on a sloped backyard
  • (4) 2x10x16 lumber boards
  • (15) 2x8x16 lumber boards
  • (39) 16-foot deck boards
  • (6) 1x8x12 fascia boards
  • (15) 2x4x8 lumber boards
  • (10) 4x4x8 lumber boards
  • (5) 5/4x6x8 lumber boards
  • (12) concrete blocks for deck use
  • (80) balusters
  • (6) post caps
  • (44) joist hangers
  • Ropes and stakes
  • Shovel
  • Tamping tool
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    Landscaping fabric
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    Hammer and nails
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    Power drill, bits, and screws
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    1/2in x 8in galvanized carriage bolts
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  • 1
    Begin by measuring the area where your deck is going to go. Once determined, mark this space off using the ropes and stakes you have on hand. It’s okay if this part of the project slopes with the hill in your yard; we’ll be correcting that later.
  • 2
    Use a shovel and a tamping tool to clean away the grass, topsoil, rocks, and anything else that may be in the way of your deck space. Level the ground evenly across the deck area, although it is still sloping at this time.
  • 3
    Using your power drill and screws, build a wooden retaining wall using the 2x8x16 lumber boards. Nail them to the 4x4 boards and secure the 4x4 boards into each of the concrete blocks making up the deck’s foundation.
  • Note: This step is crucial toward making sure your deck is even. The 4x4 boards coming out of your concrete blocks will be shorter on one end of your deck and longer on the other, to account for the slope of your yard. It’s very important to take your time measuring these before cutting them and positioning them in place. Always make sure to use a level so you can keep everything even throughout this project.
  • 4
    Space the concrete blocks out evenly along the perimeter of the deck space, and make sure you put a couple evenly in the center of the space too.
  • 5
    Lay down some landscaping fabric to prevent weed growth.
  • 6
    Spread the gravel at a depth of two inches across the landscaping fabric, making sure not to cover up the concrete blocks. Use a piece of lumber to spread the gravel so that it is even and level.
  • 7
    Once all of this is in place, secure the wooden wall to the 4x4 boards more firmly using the galvanized carriage bolts.
  • 8
    Use 2x10 boards to mount onto either side of the center 4x4 boards. Attach with screws. This will create some support in the center of the deck and keep thing level, too.
  • 9
    Use a level to check that the frame of the deck is even.
  • 10
    Lay joists every 16 inches by screwing them into place on the surrounding wooden frame.
  • 11
    Lay the deck covering. The method for doing this will differ depending on the type of covering you choose, so be sure to read the included directions with whichever type you purchase. Chances are good you will need your power drill for this step.
  • 12
    Attach balusters to the deck at a slightly raised height from the surface of the deck.
  • 13
    Screw in 2x4 pieces around the balusters, evenly spaced apart. This will create the railings for your deck.
  • 14
    Secure the post caps onto the posts around your railing.
  • 15
    Attach fascia board around the base of the deck for a finished look.


Do you feel confident in your ability to build the deck of your dreams? As you can see, it’s not exactly an easy project, but it’s not an impossible one, either. While it may take you some time to figure out the best way to go about a project like this one, you’re sure to be well on your way to completing a beautiful floating deck as part of your backyard in no time.

But is this a good DIY project for a beginner or an inexperienced builder? Do you really have what it takes to get this type of project accomplished? It’s important to keep in mind that this is not a project for a newcomer to the world of DIY woodworking, but you also don’t have to be an engineer or a construction worker to achieve it, either. As long as your skill level is intermediate, you should have no trouble working through the steps required to complete this project.

Keep in mind, too, that this project absolutely requires at least one other person’s assistance. You need to make sure you have another capable adult on hand to help out throughout every step. It is unsafe to work on this project without help, and it is also probably not really possible to complete it without an extra pair of hands here or there, too.

Finally, be sure you take care of all permitting you may need before you ever get started building. If you live in an HOA community, you will need to clear this project with your HOA board before you begin. And no matter where you live, you need to speak to the city or county before you start, too. You will need them to mark the location of water and gas lines so you don’t run the risk of digging into them and causing a community-wide problem.

By keeping all of this information in mind, you should have no trouble with this fun and rewarding project. It may take some time to complete, so don’t be in a rush when you work on it. You’re sure to love the end results if you take your time and ensure that you complete this project to the best of your abilities.


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