Customer Reviews


41 Reviews
5 star:
 (28)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT For Beginners
First off, I'm not a builder. I'm a guy with an office job who sits behind a desk all day long. I think the last thing I built was a birdhouse in third grade and it didn't even last long enough to hang it on a tree. So, I knew building a deck was a BIG project. But, this book made it SO easy! The photos are incredible. They don't use sketches and drawings, they have...
Published on August 8, 2002 by Shawn Mulligan

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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only good for the basics
This book has nice pictures and some helpful information. However take it from someone who has purchased to many "how to build a deck" books. If you are actually going to build your deck, and if it is anything other than a basic 1 level deck out the back, if you want to do some really nice finish work, there is only one book I have found that even comes close to telling...
Published on March 19, 2005 by W. B. Rogers


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very informative, April 1, 2008
A great book for deck building. My only complaint is there was a bit too much info on the exotic style decks that can be built. More regular first time info would have been helpful. Overall though a great book for the price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book with lots of construction details, February 10, 2007
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This book had both pictures and a large quantity of construction 'how to's', though personally I would have preferred more pictures and ideas pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book, October 15, 2008
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I have purchased several books from Black & Decker, from plumbing to electrical. They are very good. What I like about the Black & Decker books is their ability to place a lot of pictures into their books. You know the old saying "A picture says a thousand words." There were clear and concise directions for simple and complex deck projects. I will say that if you don't have some basic building skills, you could become frustrated in the middle of your project. Remember, many of these 'How To" books go on the premise that the builder is working with perfectly straight lumber. A case in point; as I was building my deck, I had to make small notches along many of my floor joists that rested on the support beam in order to keep the top layers level for the boards that would be placed on top. Why? Because the 4 X 6 support beam had a slight crown, as well as the 2 X 8 joists. If you are inexperienced, buy the book, read the section you are going to use throughly, ask questions, and take it real slow-You can do it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still looking, February 10, 2008
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warchildnyc (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This book was ok, but I was still left longing for something more comprehensive, with more examples and more pictures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to get you started on a deck, September 22, 2007
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After reading this book, I was able to build my own 22 by 12 ft. deck. It contains lots of plans for various deck types with lots of pictures showing you how to do everything from cuts to bolting. While not a complete step-by-step how to guide to build an entire deck, it contains enough pictures to walk you through certain procedures and gives you a lot of ideas on different ways to do things such as railing etc. I couldn't have built my deck without it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Detailed Book, April 29, 2007
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If you are new to building decks like I am this is a great book. There are more details and pictures in this book than many others. It has a few deck plans included inside the book. It gives you charts for figuring out construction minimums for the load required. If you are thinking about building your own deck and you are not experienced, buy this book first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for a do it yourselfer, March 10, 2014
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This review is from: Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Decks: Updated 4th Edition, Includes the Newest Products & Fasteners, Add an Outdoor Kitchen (Black & Decker Complete Guide) (Paperback)
I tend to like the Black and Decker home improvement books and this one is no exception. Many books get into projects that the average homeowner would never have the desire or means to undertake. This book is filled with excellent photos and does a good job of covering most aspects of deck building. I have no regrets in purchasing this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and practical. Worth the money., September 6, 2013
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I was rebuilding a 15 year old deck. I got practical and useful information on this rebuildibg process that will make the project faster and assure I use the best quality methods and materials. Lots of good information - particularly the one about installing wood decking "bark side" down. This book was written by knowledgeable professionals. The pictures and diagrams are plentiful and instructive. Also it has useful tables on wood sizes, screw sizes, nails, bolts, footers, etc. Gives many tips on "do's and don'ts." If you only want to buy one book this is it. Also covers building new decks both flat and multi -level. Has the best explanation of sealers, stains and other types of coatings that I have found. Has a section on long term maintenance of decks, cleaning of decks, etc. Tells how to repair rotted decks. Discusses the differences between wood decking and the new plastic decking with many pictures. Shows the tools needed for each part of the process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful Book, August 17, 2012
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This book was very helpful in the design phase of my deck building project. I built my deck myself, and it gave great ideas and illustrations which aided me throughout the building phase. Well worth the read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Better off just digging into you local codes, you'll end up doing it anyways, October 5, 2014
This review is from: Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Decks: Updated 4th Edition, Includes the Newest Products & Fasteners, Add an Outdoor Kitchen (Black & Decker Complete Guide) (Paperback)
After skimming through it looks like a great book, but once I started designing my deck I wish I'd gotten something different. There are a lot of examples and pictures in the book that show designs that are not to code, the book even calls them out and says things like "notice this doesn't meet current codes". Sometimes they just ignore it and don't mention the out of date pictures. It is frustrating because sometimes I find myself not understanding a part of text, and look for a pic, only find examples that do what they tell you not to do.

Another complaint is some times they state something in a manner that make you think are part of code, but I found my local code is different. The instances I've found are more conservative than our code, so safety isn't the issue, but if I built to my code rather than the book I would save a substantial about of money in lumber. I'm fine with them only showing the way they recommend making a deck, just be clear when something you say is code, or preference.

Last thing, there is no mention of putting roofs over decks, that was a let down. I had to dive into the code for that, but I bought this book in the hopes of not having to get into the code myself.

All and all, I'd say it is a waste of paper. In the least they need to update the pictures.
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