How to Build a Deck using TuffBlocks: A 10 Step How-To-Guide (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of “How To Build A Deck Using TuffBlocks: A 10 Step How-To-Guide”.

In this blog we will cover the final steps involved with our deck build:

Step 6 - Laying Down The Joists

Step 7 - Bracing Overhang

Step 8 - Joist Protection 

Step 9 - Laying Down The Decking Boards

Step 10 - Trim The Decking Boards

If you missed Part 1, check it out here

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We also touch on our additional accessories: the steps and our lovely garden. 

As a quick recap, part 1 saw the team run you through site preparation, which involved removing the topsoil, then leveling and compacting the ground so that our TuffBlocks would sit nice and level. We also covered how to measure and cut your posts and how to check the outer frame of your deck is square and level. 

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Let's get started with part 2 of our how to guide!

Step 6. Layout Joists

You’ve built your outer deck frame, ensured its square and now it’s time to add the joists! This step may vary from deck to deck - some of you may be working on flat ground, others may be in the same situation as our team. When building a deck on sloping ground or across variable heights, you will need to measure the distance from the TuffBlocks to the joists. 

Measure the distance from the joist to the TuffBlock, when doing so ensure to take into consideration additional length for the checking technique (please see Part 1, step 4)

Place the joists into the joist hangers - we used galvanised nails and repeated the following:

  1. Lay down road base
  2. Tamp to compact and level ground where TuffBlock will sit
  3. Measure height for post
  4. Cut posts
  5. Repeat until you’ve built out the majority of your frame

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Step 7. Bracing Overhang

Due to our deck design we’ve decided to hide the TuffBlocks so that they’re not visible beyond the outer frame. Our Tuffblocks are sitting 1ft by 1ft back within our frame hence why we need to brace the overhang to create extra support for our unsupported outer joists. For a more finished and polished aesthetic we’ve decided to add fascia boards to the sides of the deck. 

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Step 8. Joist Protection

To promote the longevity of our deck we are adding a protective barrier. There are a number of joist protection systems out there, from PVC rolled covering, but in this instance we have used ‘G-Tape' which uses a special all weather adhesive to cover the joist and remove water between your decking and your frame - so it’ll help to stop any mildew or rot. We’ve placed the G-Tape across each of the joists.

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Step 9. Laying Boards

Once you’re certain the deck frame is square, level and the G-Tape is laid out across your joists… it’s time to lay out the decking boards. 

Our team is opting for a clean decking style - we’re using an invisible nail system. This consists of a series of deck spacers, which are then placed into the grooves of our decking boards. Each deck spacer will be screwed into each joist and decking board with a countersunk screw. 

It's important to note that when placing your end deck spacers into the grooves of the decking boards, that you’re mindful of no overhang. We want to prevent overhang so that when we trim the decking boards, we don’t hit the plastic deck spacer.  

When preparing to lay out all the decking boards, you’ll most likely notice that your lumber cuts will vary in length. To kick off our decking, we’ve laid out a few of our longer lumber cuts. To ensure our shorter cuts aren’t grouped all together at the end of our decking, we’ve popped them down about 4 decking boards in. When popping the two shorter cuts together, it’s important that the join line sits above a joist and sits nice and tight to keep that clean look. To ensure our shorter cuts are sitting tight and centred, we’ve tapped the ends of our shorter cuts so that the join line meets nice and clean. 

At this point in our deck build we added stairs for better accessibility of the entire outdoor living space. We utilised leftover lumber to prevent wastage of materials.

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You can add fascia boards to the sides of your deck for a cleaner look and then it’s time to treat and decorate your deck!

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We styled our deck with a gorgeous 5 seater outdoor sofa set, cushions, a simple centerpiece as well as a soft blanket for those cooler evenings under the stars. 

What are you waiting for? Get building!

Build on. 



  • Oliver

    Hi Mike – assuming your span tables are correct then yes, this could be an option. Given this deck was 20ft long, then this wasn’t possible and needed supports. If the joists were positioned 90 degrees then 1 support would have been required, but the owners wanted the decking boards to be parallel to the house.

  • Oliver

    Hi SR – the video version of this video is on YouTube at:

  • SR

    Where is the video version of this procedure?

  • Mike

    Could you attach posts to the rim joists, and use the joist hangers to support the joists without having to support the joists directly with tough blocks? (Provided your span lengths were correct)?

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