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Laying Out Post Locations

The first step in building a deck, playset, or other outdoor structure is to lay out the post locations. This project guide demonstrates how to use batterboards and a mason’s line to correctly align and square the post locations for your project.




 Step 1: Install the batterboards

 Install the batterboards Drive the batterboards into the ground 2 to 3-feet beyond each post’s position. Stretch the mason’s line between the batterboards, outlining the edges of the structure. Level the lines with a line level.

Step 2: Square the corner

 Square the corner To square a corner, mark one of the mason’s lines at 3-feet and the other line at 4-feet from the point where the lines cross. Slide the lines on the batterboards until the distance between the marks is exactly 5-feet. The corner is now square.

Step 3: Mark the ground

 Mark the ground At each corner, drop a plumb bob and mark the ground below it with powdered chalk or sand. Mark the position of the mason’s lines on the crosspieces. Untie the lines, but leave the batterboards in place.