Decks don’t always have to be attached to the house to give you an effective place to gather and entertain. In fact, floating decks, or decks that are set away from a structure, are a great design feature to break up a boxy or boring yard.

They are also a great idea for larger yards that have room for an additional seating space. For instance, a small DIY deck set away from the house might be a good area for Mom and Dad to have some quiet time and a glass of wine on summer evenings. Or a yoga space?

In any case, we found some great tutorials on how to build a floating deck, that are sometimes called island or freestanding decks as well. Some of these are low budget floating deck ideas as well!


How to Build a Floating Deck

If you want to learn all the ins and outs on how to build a floating deck, let’s start with one anyone would be proud to show off! From ‘Jen Woodhouse‘, this project not only walks you through every step, they tell you their “secret sauce”.

Awesome deck tutorial aside, they built this island deck for a neighboring family, welcoming home a returning soldier. I mean, if we all did things like that for people in our community, how amazing would that be! I can imagine that first big summer BBQ was a really special celebration! But back to the tutorial… This is no small job, but totally doable, and the end result? Will save you thousands over hiring a contractor.


Freestanding Floating Deck Ideas

Here is a great tutorial on how to build a DIY floating deck, from ‘Home Depot‘. Step by step photos on how to build the foundation, laying the boards, and even how to add a privacy wall. Tips for stying and decorating your new outdoor room as well!


Pallet Deck Idea

From ‘Apartment Therapy‘, learn how to build a floating deck from pallet wood. The wood was repurposed and extremely low budget. The whole thing cost less than $100 to make!

Be sure to choose your pallet wood carefully. Some of it is sturdy and perfect for a project like this. Some of it is no better than thin craft wood. Remember, people will be standing on this. You can be economical and still build a quality island deck that will last for years.



Step by Step Deck Instructions

Family Handyman‘ has a step by step on how to make an DIY floating deck, complete with photos and supply lists. You learn how to build a floating deck frame, what fasteners to use, even the best way to finish it!




Low Budget Floating Deck Ideas

If you are on the fence about whether or not you can actually pull off one of these floating deck ideas, read this. Ashley over at ‘Pretty Passive‘ built a low budget floating deck for less than $500! And yep, she did it all herself!

She gives you a great list of supplies, and of tools you will need to do this project. While she is making a small deck, you could adjust the size to fit your space.


Island Deck How-To

DIY Network‘ shows you how to build a floating deck, and then they do it one better. There is even a video in this tutorial! In fact, not only do they have several tutorials for island or ground level decks, they have ideas on how to finish them with lattice, how to build an attached deck, and how to choose which one is right for you.


Small Floating Deck Plans with Hammock

So, maybe you don’t need a large space for entertaining, but you still want to make a small floating deck for yoga, to have a private space in a garden nook, or for hanging a hammock! Shara over at ‘Woodshop Diaries‘ built this little floating deck idea in a corner of her yard. She installed a pergola to provide shade, and to anchor her hammock.

This is a great way to add the value of a deck to your home, without having to spend outside of your budget. It also requires a lot less effort! And while you are digging those holes and cutting that lumber, remember… You will get to lay around in that hammock afterward!

Teeny Tiny Deck Plans

Want to get even tinier? ‘Kippi at Home‘ made this super small floating deck for a place to rinse off her boots after being in the garden. This would also be a great solution for a place to put your garbage cans so they don’t sit in the mud! Or, make one just large enough to be able to tuck a reading chair amongst your roses.

It’s a great way to start with building projects too. Totally manageable deck plan for just one person to build, and low budget as well.


Floating Patio

This next floating deck idea is simply for inspiration, so there is no tutorial here. I wanted to include them so you could see how cool these can look in the landscape. So, time for a private space away from the house?

This small deck is from ‘Martha Stewart‘. I like the way they used container plants to anchor the deck visually


Floating Deck Under a Tree

Abbey of ‘Aesthetic Outburst‘ via ‘Poppytalk‘ has our last bit of inspiration. Now I bet you really want to get started on yours, right? Pass the Pomegranate martini!



So glad you enjoyed our post on DIY Floating Deck Ideas! (Come on, if you read this far, you enjoyed it, right? :) See also our post on DIY Concrete Patio Cover Ups and  DIY Patio Floor Ideas and tutorials! And build a deck for your own DIY stock tank pool with the tutorials over at TBD!


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How to Build a Fabulous DIY Floating Deck


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  1. isabella June 26, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    decking? Don’t do it! Not unless you like the constant maintenance.

    1. Rookie February 18, 2023 at 10:41 am

      If you’re building a deck and didn’t realize there’d be maintenance, then you might’ve done more research.
      If you want let maintenance, you could’ve gone with composite decking. However, materials will cost more.

  2. Scott Croydon April 21, 2017 at 2:50 am

    My wife and I are looking at options for a ground level (floating) deck. My concern is the opportunity for frost heaving the deck blocks over time. Have you experienced this issue?

    1. Kathy Woodard May 8, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      While we live in a zone6/7, and don’t have too much issue with that, the best thing to do is to talk to a home improvement specialist in your area… Not sure it would be a problem on a floating deck as much as one attached to a structure?

  3. Curious DIYer July 5, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Are there concerns with floating decks that critters might view the part underneath as a great home?

    1. Lazydaze February 24, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      I built a floating deck to make a flat seating area on a steep slope, the only ‘critter’ under it was a thief who had made a hollow lined with polythene to hide in while he spied on us in a lower level kitchen, before sneaking in to steal phones and a wallet. Front side is boarded up now.

    2. Deck Builder March 10, 2017 at 3:45 am

      Try putting down poly plastic sheet like vapour barrier and then covering with 3″ of 3/4″ clear gravel. Animals won’t like bedding on the gravel or digging through the plastic plus it helps reduce ground moisture so prolongs deck frame timbers. Don’t let leaves and other debris collect under the deck and don’t enclose the underside of the deck – this only makes it a better hiding spot for animals or thieves apparently….

  4. The DIY Hubby June 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks for the article. I am adding a deck to my back yard this summer. Got some tips that will come in handy.

  5. kent jardine May 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I need a floating deck to hide 8 cords of firewood. Any ideas? Kent

  6. Kristin Topping January 15, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Floating deck really creates a appealing look to your backyard. It adds a great prominent place to sit and enjoy a view of a yard.

  7. Chad Pfeffer August 28, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I really love the floating deck idea, especially for home owners that have a tree or landscaping issues that might get in the way of a traditional deck. Of course you are adding square footage to your home and value! Win,win!

  8. Ron Frazelle April 2, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Floating deck adds curb appeals to backyard. I like it.


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