For something more sophisticated than a rectangle or a square, make your new deck hexagonal in shape. A regular hexagon, with its six equal corners and six equal sides, is a fairly straightforward shape to work with. If you have some basic carpentry experience and limit the project to a simple deck without an ornate roof structure, a hexagonal deck platform is not difficult to build.
Things You'll Need
Rake or shovel
6 wooden stakes
Concrete piers for 4-by-4s
6 Posts, 4-by-4, 4 feet long
10 Boards, 2-by-8, 12 feet long
30 Boards, 2-by-4, 12 feet long
6 Boards, 2-by-6, 6 feet long
60 wood screws, 3-inch
10 joist hangers
40 L-shaped brackets
Paint or stain (optional)
Prepare the site where you will build, raking or shoveling away any grass or plants, and clearing mounds of soil. Tie a string between two stakes, drive the stakes into the ground and use a level to check that the string is perfectly horizontal.
Map out the plan for your hexagon, using string and stakes. A regular hexagon has six sides of equal length and six 120-degree angles. Measure and adjust your plan until all six sides are equal and the distances between any two opposite sides are also equal. Dig holes at each of the hexagon's corners and fill them with concrete. Set the concrete piers in place, checking your measurements again. Orient the piers so that the square posts they will support will have a flat side facing the interior of the hexagon.
Cut the posts to the height of your deck, measuring from the concrete piers. Along the top eight inches of each post, cut back the wood along one face to create a 120-degree angle. Set the posts into their piers.
Cut six pieces of 2-by-8 lumber to the length of the hexagon's sides. Cut off the ends of each of the pieces at a 30-degree angle so they fit together to form a hexagon. Drive wood screws through the 2-by-8 boards to affix them to the posts, keeping the tops of the posts and the tops of the boards level.
Cut 2-by-8 boards to fit into the hexagonal frame, parallel to one another and spaced about 16 inches apart. Cut the ends of the boards at 30-degree angles, as necessary, for those joists that affix to the angled faces of the hexagon. Drive wood screws through the hexagonal frame and into the joists, at least two per board. Use joist hangers, instead, where the joists meet the frame at a 90-degree angle.
Cut 2-by-4 boards to size to cover the hexagonal frame, laid parallel to one another and perpendicular to the floor joists. Use the L-shaped brackets and wood screws to affix the floor boards to the joists underneath.
Cut six pieces of 2-by-6 boards to the length of the hexagon's sides. Cut down the ends at a 30-degree angle so the boards fit together to form a hexagon. Set the new hexagon on top of the completed deck as a final border. Attach it with wood screws.
Paint or stain the deck with a product designed for outdoor use. Let the paint or stain dry completely.
For a look that's more sophisticated but more challenging, arrange your floor joists like wheel spokes, running between the center of the deck and the outer corners of the hexagon.
Divide the area into six triangles, and fill each triangle with floor boards that run parallel to the hexagon's outer edge.
Check with your homeowner's association or your municipal laws before building a hexagonal deck or any structure on your property. Secure needed permits before beginning any construction.