Advice on Freestanding Deck.

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  #1  
Old 06-05-04, 12:05 PM
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Advice on Freestanding Deck.

Almost done planning the deck (as simple as it is, I thought I wouldn't have to plan it ). Just unsure on a few things that I hope to clear up and need some advise and/or suggestions. I hope I can explain myself correctly since I'm no expert. Far from it.

The back door is roughly 17" high. Leaving 2" between the door and the decking leaves me with 15" to work with. The deck will be freestanding. Dimensions are 16' wide and 10' out the door.

Option 1: Do I build the deck so that I walk out onto it from the door and then build a step border (?) surrounding the deck? Or maybe a small set of steps and surround the remainder of the deck with some seating?

Option 2: Build steps walking out the door and the deck is the landing?

I'm assuming that 15" is too high to simply walk off of. I am guessing if I build a ground level deck, I would only need to build a small platform at the door for one step?

Once I get these guesses figured out, I'll throw out my whole game plan to make sure it looks right. I wanted to use the pre-cast piers without digging footings, but with a 2x6 sitting on top of a pier, I'd already be at near 13".
 
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  #2  
Old 06-05-04, 05:24 PM
L
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Just like you started out describing -- build the deck so that it is about 2" below the door threshold. You don't want to build a ground level deck if you don't have to.

You are correct -- 15" is just too much to simply step off of. You will need a step. You can build it all the way around the 3 exposed sides of the deck, or you can make it a small step, and use either railings or benches to define it.

Dig the piers into a small (15" square and 6" to 8" deep) footing, fill the footing with concrete and set the pier about 2" into the wet concrete. (This is assuming that frost is not an issue where you live.) That will lock the piers into place. IF you set the piers even deeper, you can span between them with a 4X4, then set your 2X6 joists on that. That would eliminate a lot of the piers -- you could space them 4' or 5' apart in lines parallel to the wall of the house, and the line of piers would occur at 2' and 8' out from the wall. Cantelever the other 2' on each 16' side to give you the 10' projection of the deck you are after.
 
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Old 06-06-04, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Just to make sure I understand, you're suggesting using 4x4's as beams and then set the 2x6's on top?

Question about the pre-cast concrete pier blocks that have the recessed slots. I thought about using them instead of digging footings. But I've noticed that according to the block manufacturers, they require a lot more blocks than if I were to dig footings. Why is that? The same dimension deck would have me dig 8 footings vs. 36 blocks. If the boards are attached to the blocks, why isn't the # of supports the same?
 
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Old 06-06-04, 11:07 AM
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BTW, I'm in Houston, TX so I don't have to worry about frost.
 
  #5  
Old 06-06-04, 05:15 PM
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1314,

You could use the deck blocks if you want, but there is really no need to spend the extra money on them in your case. I would use just the standard pier blocks that have the 2X6 plate anchored to the top of them.

Dig the 8 holes (15" square and 6" to 8" deep) and set the pier blocks in the wet concrete. Working in the 4X4 beam is going to allow you to put a row of 4 blocks out 2' from the house, and a second row out 8' from the house. With the blocks of each row centered at 4', and a 2' cantelever on each end, you will have your 16' width. The 6' between each row of blocks and the 2' cantelever on each end of the joists will give you your 10' projection.

Where Deck Block is coming up with 36 is a pattern of 3 rows across the 16' width -- that is 3 Deck Blocks under each of the 12 joists!

Go with the 8 blocks, dig the footings and use a 4X4 beam. It will be both cheaper and stronger!
 
  #6  
Old 06-06-04, 09:42 PM
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Thanks.

I started on that today and it seems like it will work out great with the 2' all the way around and the two rows like you said. I'll have to put up pic whenever I'm done. Thank goodness for daylight savings. I was able to work well past 8pm tonight.
 
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