Deck using Dek-Blocks

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  #1  
Old 06-07-04, 11:35 AM
amyswagart
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Deck using Dek-Blocks

Please help! The more I research building a deck the more I get confused!!

I am in the beginning stages of building a freestanding deck and getting more and more confused! The deck will be in total be 32 long - one section will be 16x18 and the other (attached) section will be 16x12. I had decided to use and have purchased Dek-Blocks. I originally thought I just had to use one for every place that I would have poured a footing but after visiting their website today I realized it was wrong. It looks like Im going to have to purchase a lot more blocks! I thought I read a posts here where someone (Lefty maybe?) recommended putting the pier blocks in 2 inches of cement but for the life of me I couldnt find it when I went back to look..of course! Im in Michigan so frost will be an issue.

I opted for the Dek-Blocks instead of the traditional footings because at its furthest point the deck will be out of the ground about 3.5 and since Im building the deck from lumber I currently have using the blocks made my 4x4s go a little further. So I guess I have two questions. 1. Do I really need to use so many Dek-Blocks and 2. Do you need to cement them in the ground as well? I had already dug out a square section about 4-5 deep as I read (somewhere here) but now Im questioning if I should have done that because of the frost! Im probably making this process much more difficult then it needs to be..sorry!
Amy
 
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  #2  
Old 06-07-04, 10:53 PM
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Dek Blocks are fine for a very low deck, where you don't have the height to put a beam under your joists. But you WILL be using a lot of them in that case, because you'll need several of them under EVERY joist. But if you have the height to install a beam under the joists, using Dek Blocks instead of regular pier blocks is a waste of money. They cost $1.50 to $2 more than a regular pier block, and you are using them just like a regular pier block. (Spaced several feet apart under each beam -- HOW MANY feet they are spaced is determined by the size of beam you are using.)

I don't think I have ever suggested putting a pier block in 2" of concrete. I have said dig a 15" to 18" square footing that is 8" deep and set the pier block in the wet concrete. That works fine, UNLESS frost is an issue. In that case, your footing has to be deep enough to get below the frost line. For you, frost IS an issue. You need to find out how deep your frost line is. Ask your local bldg. dept. Your footings have to be 6" deeper than that, or your deck will heave.
 
  #3  
Old 06-11-04, 11:24 AM
amyswagart
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Thank you for your opinion Lefty. I appreciate it. We've decided to return the Dek-Blocks and do traditional footings. ~Amy
 
  #4  
Old 06-12-04, 04:20 AM
Icemancomth
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I used Dek-Blocks for a 14x20 deck and the work

Hi Amy,

All I can tell you is that I used the dek-blocks to build my pool deck. I built a 14x20 deck at a height of 22 inches using dek-blocks. Remember with the blocks you do not have to dig footings for the deck. I used around 36 blocks to build this deck. The reason I went this way was I did not want to dig all those footings. The deck was built summer of 2003 and the deck had no problems during the winter months. I would read the forums at deckplans.com before you return the block. Remember with a floating deck you can not attached it to a house or another deck that was build with footing below the frost line.
I posted so photos of my deck and the block I used on my web page. If you go there you will get an idea of how it work for me. My web page is at http://decks.hemmingsjones.com do not use the www when entering the link.

Just click onto the link or copy the link into your address bar.
Ice
 

Last edited by Icemancomth; 06-17-04 at 01:53 AM.
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