New products make building outdoor decks easier

A look at the latest in do-it-yourself kits

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of outdoor decks, which are in many ways an ideal do-it-yourself project, a wide variety of products and services have made their way into the marketplace to help you build that deck faster, easier and sturdier, with more professional results. Deck Kits: If your plans are for something fairly basic, most of the larger lumberyards and home centers can provide you with a complete deck-building kit in several standard sizes and configurations. The kit contains all the lumber, hardware, fasteners, and other items you need, and some even include basic construction instructions. If you need a railing around your deck--required by most building codes if the deck is over 30 inches above the ground--there are rail-building kits available as well. Deck building kits can offer you a simple and less expensive way to get started, and they provide a building block for future expansion of the deck as well. "Floating" decks, which sit on specially notched pier blo...