Very Low Deck


  #1  
Old 12-26-05, 12:32 PM
sastek
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Cool Very Low Deck

HI all, I want to build a 12 x 14 deck in my back yard, but unfortunately the back door is only about 7 inches above grade. The whole yard is landscaped and the grade currently pitches towards the house then diverts down the sides of the house. The deck will stick out 12ft from the house so I figure I will need at least twin 2x8 framework (probably 2x10) and the joists will be 2x6 or 2x8.

I live in Houston (actually Katy) so frost is not a problem but rain is, and I am concerned that if I dig a big hole so that effectively half of the deck is below grade that it will fill up with water. Can anyone give me some pointers on how to make this work. I was thinking of digging the hole about a foot deeper than it needs to be and then filling it with about a foot of crushed stone, was also thinking about using some of the plastic drainiage pipe to run from the hole to the sides of the house.

Another problem is taking care of any gap between the deck and the grass around it, obvious answer is crushed stone, but what about breathing space for the wood?

Was planning on pressure treated for the frame and composite decking.
 
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Old 12-26-05, 01:14 PM
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Very Low Deck

Considering your climate and drainage, there may be better options than a wood deck. The wood needs ventilation to minimize dterioration and sitting in a hole won't help. Usually several feet are desired under a wood deck.

Interlocking concrete paving stones could be used effectively in you situation and you continue your drainage under a patio or around it. Wood in relatively short-lived in a climate as your with very little ventilation under the deck.

They can run up to the surrounding grass or you could have a border with rock and/or landscaping.

Pavers could cost more initially. but be a better buy in the long run, considering maintenance and replacement.

Dick
 
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Old 12-26-05, 02:08 PM
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very low deck

I agree with Dick. The deck you describe building could use no larger than 2 x 6 framing and joisting since adding decking to it will make it 6 1/2" high overall if you use 5/4 deck composite. Then if the ground converges upward from the house, then the deck will be underground in about 6' of run.
Your step down is perfect for a paver type patio. You will probably have to spend a little more initially, but if you make a proper gravel bed, provide for drainage ahead of it, you shouldn't have a problem. With either the deck or patio, you will have to have a level playing field, and the water will have to be diverted.
Good luck with your project.
Larry
 
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Old 12-26-05, 02:59 PM
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And I'm going to agree with Dick and Larry, except for the part that pavers may cost more! You'll have to price out the material for both to find out for sure. (Depends on what you have available and can use for decking.)

Another option, and one that your yard seems to be well suited for, would be a concrete patio. That WILL be cheaper than either a wood deck or pavers and will be less maintenance.

Your yard, it's lack of height from the threshold to grade, and it's drainage is just not a good place for a wood deck.
 
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Old 12-29-05, 07:15 AM
sastek
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Thanks for the replies, I didn't think a traditional style deck would work, but I really would like to have a deck out there.

So I had another thought, would it work if I laid a concrete patio about 1-2 inch above grade, then fix 2 x 4 composite or pressure treated sleepers to it, and finally attaching composite decking on the top. Would need some sort of vapour membrane between the concrete and the wood.
 
  #6  
Old 12-29-05, 09:07 PM
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You REALLY want a deck there, don't you!!

A concrete slab, then anchor composite 2X4 sleepers to it at 16" O.C., then deck the 2X4's with a composite. Forget about the vapor barrier -- composites don't need it.
 
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Old 05-01-06, 07:07 PM
sastek
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Thanks for the replies, I'm finally getting around to starting this project. Lefty you mentioned using Composite 2x4 sleepers, I was not aware you got such a thing.

I don't really think I could tackle a concrete slab by myself, so was wondering if I could pour a bunch of concrete piers instead, say 8" wide and about a foot deep (using the cardboard forms) I know that I would need one every 16" OC for each beam, but how far apart could they be along the length of the beam if I used 2x4 or 4x4 PT wood?

Perhaps this is a bad idea!!
 
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Old 05-02-06, 08:52 AM
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I am in the same situation...

I want a wood deck and have little clearance as well. I'm thinking about these:

http://www.deckplans.com/howto_3steps.html

I guess it would mean sinking the piers into the ground a bit.
 
 

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