Planning an outdoor event presents a unique set of circumstances, as you want to present a professional appearance while still contending with the elements and other factors that might be out of your control. No matter if you’re hosting a wedding, corporate get-together, or sporting event, you’ll want to have a sturdy platform that commands the attention of your guests. You can either rent a stage or build your own. Here’s some guidance on how to build a portable stage that will meet the demands of any type of gathering.

Building a Stage that’s Portable in Just 5 Steps

Some knowledge of working with tools is required. Other than that, just about anyone can build the following stage.

Step 1: Choose the Right Size

Before you start constructing your dais, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space to hold your entire slate of dignitaries. This is easier said than done because you have to walk a fine line between overcrowding your platform and having too much extra space. If you need guidance on sizing, don’t hesitate to get recommendations from an experienced event planner. No matter how big your overall stage will be, the industry standard is to work with platforms that measure eight feet wide by four feet deep.

Step 2: Assemble Your Materials

Before learning how to build a raised platform, you’ll need to have the right materials for each section:

  • Six 8′ pieces of 2″x4″ lumber
  • One sheet of 3/4-inch-thick plywood that’s 8’x4′
  • 24 – 3″ wood screws
  • 26 – 1.5″ wood screws
  • 12 – 3.5″ hexagonal bolts
  • 12 – nuts
  • 24 – washers

You’ll also want to gather the tools needed for this project:

  • Circular saw
  • Pliers
  • Drill
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper

Step 3: Build Your Frame

The frame is what gives structure to your stage, so it’s important to measure properly and make it sturdy. Cut three 45-inch-long sections from your 2x4s and lay them on the ground parallel to each other in four-foot intervals. Take two of your eight-foot-long 2x4s and use them to complete the frame. All of the boards should be laying on the two-inch-wide side of the board, which will make the frame four inches tall. Use two three-inch wood screws at each joint, and drill pilot holes to get them started without splitting the lumber.

Step 4: Construct Legs and Braces

With your remaining 2x4s, cut six two-foot sections to use as legs and six one-foot sections at 45-degree angles, which will serve as braces. Put one leg at each corner and two along the center support, and attach them to the 8-foot boards by drilling holes and using bolts, nuts, and washers. Hold the nut steady with your pliers, and use your ratchet to tighten. Use three-inch wood screws to attach the braces between the legs and frame for extra stability.

Step 5: Finish the Platform

Once you’ve attached legs to the frame, finish construction by attaching a sheet of plywood with 1.5-inch wood screws spaced 16 inches apart along all edges. For extra stability, you can add additional sheets of plywood, but make sure all of your platforms are the same height to prevent tripping hazards. You can also drill holes into the outside edges of each section so you can create a sturdy platform by bolting sections together.

Finish your stage off by sanding thoroughly, applying several coats of black outdoor paint and attaching fabric skirts to hide the area beneath the stage. If you’re worried about traction, you can also apply anti-slip tape in strategic areas. After the event, simply unscrew all of the bolts and remove the legs for easy storage and transport.

Create the Perfect Event

Now you know how to build an outdoor stage, you’re ready to host your concert, speech, or any other gathering. If you don’t have the time or resources to undertake this project yourself, contact The Wright Group today to learn how we can make your next special event go off without a hitch.