Building your own deck is a rewarding home project that enhances your family's living space while also increasing the value of your home. Taking on this challenge allows you to design the deck of your dreams and to use those plans to determine how much decking material you'll need. But before heading off to the lumber store, you'll need to transform your deck's number of square feet into linear feet, or total board length. Only the linear feet calculation reveals exactly how many decking boards you'll need to buy.
Measure the width of the deck to be covered, and record your measurement in inches. Measure the width of one deck material board, and record its measurement in inches.
Divide your decking area's measurement by the width of one decking board. For example, if your deck will be 144 inches (12 feet) wide, and your decking board is five inches wide, your result will be 28.8 (144 / 5 = 28.8), indicating that you'll need 29 boards to cover the deck's width.
Measure the length of your deck, and record that measurement in inches. Multiply the number of inches in length by the number of boards that will cover the deck's width. For example, an eight-foot long (96-inch long) deck requiring 29 boards to cover its width yields a resulting measurement of 2,784 board inches (96 inches x 29 = 2,784).
Divide the total number of board inches by 12 to determine the linear board-feet measurement. For example, if our 96-inch deck length by 29 deck boards equals 2,784 board inches, then the board feet will be 232 linear feet (2,784 / 12 = 232).