Step 1: Laser Leveling Made Easy
Updated: Jul 18
Hey, welcome back! As you know, I am a contractor and love my job! But to be honest, it's getting a little tiring. So I'll teach you how to do it yourself!
Keep reading as I show you how to use a laser level, complete with pictures. Some things are better watched than read, so I'll include a link to my laser-leveling video on YouTube.
But if you'd rather stay here and listen to my chatter then be my guest!
First things first...you need a laser level. https://a.co/d/bgw89nj
I am an Amazon affiliate so I do benefit from all qualifying purchases.
Let's get to the part you've been waiting for. Learning to set up the laser level...
I am going to show the one I use for this demonstration. This is Johnson's laser-level kit. https://a.co/d/3NNgHEU It comes with a laser level, a tripod stand, and funny-looking glasses to make you look like an idiot. They come with batteries, but I advise you to use your own and don't leave them in or they may corrode.
You simply open the tripod and lock the legs in place. Ensure your tripod legs are level with the ground and each other. Connect the laser to the head of the tripod and turn it on. The laser head will begin to spin. Don't worry about it. That means it works!
The head will send out a laser laterally and as long you are perfectly level, you just have to figure out how to read that laser. The laser-level kit comes with goggles that are supposed to help you see that mark, but they do not work as efficiently as you would expect. So bought a laser receiver! It makes my life a whole lot easier. Here's the link for the one I use: https://a.co/d/9nmK3J9
Just put the receiver on a block of wood, figure out what your height is, and then set your receiver to the height where you have the bottom of the wood where you want your mark to be. Wait to hear the beep from the laser every time you go around. You know your level once you hear the beep.
To find your deck's final measurement, you need to measure below the top of the deck, the joists, and the girders. That will be your final level. Add everything together and measure down. In my case, the total is 15 and 3 quarters. I could set my laser level to the mark on the wood, but the brick has a lip and I want my mark to be as accurate as possible. If I were smarter, I would use a C-clamp to hold it down but not this time. Slide the receiver until you hear a beep. A long beep means it is perfect. This laser is hard to get perfect because of its sensitivity. A slow beep means you need to go down and a fast beep means to go up. That's it. Easy peasy! It never hurts to double-check. The difference between the upward and downward is less than 1/16 of an inch so I don't worry too much about it.
Now I will take my speed square to mark a straight line of the posts. I advise that you mark at least 2 sides of the post to ensure that you cut the tops straight.
Now all you need to do is cut the posts with a saw. I prefer using a 10 and 1/4 saw. It isn't safe but it is easier. I don't like the unevenness that comes from a 7 and 1/4-inch blade. This 10 and 1/4 saw works pretty smoothly. Here's the link: https://a.co/d/6du3b0d
So that is all for using your laser level to level a deck. Thank you for reading!
Here are the links for all the tools I used for this project:
Johnson Laser Level and self-leveling kit: https://a.co/d/hkfMlY0
AdirPro Universal Rotary Laser Detector: https://a.co/d/cvnU2i6
Makita 10 1/4 saw: https://a.co/d/6du3b0d