Need opinion on 'freestanding' deck

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-27-07, 11:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 19
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Need opinion on 'freestanding' deck

I would like to build a deck over an existing 16' x 22' concrete patio that is 8" thick, and poured up to the back of the house. We replaced the old slider door that had a step down to the patio with a French Door. I am considering using 'Dek Blocks' from Home Depot on top of the concrete pad to build the deck flush with the level of a french door (which is 15" above the old concrete patio). I want the deck to be the same dimensions as the concrete patio- 16' x 22'.

My questions are these:

Are Deck Blocks only used on soil or can they be used on this patio?

Even though the deck will be unattached to the house, will the fact that the old patio is up against the house prove to be problematic? I live in San Diego, and there is no frost to worry about. Earthquakes are a different problem, however.
Any ideas?

Thanks!
OldFrenchy
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-27-07, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Need opinion on 'freestanding' deck

Deck blocks are not approved in many locations.

Being in San Diego, you could encounter a number of problems with your concept. These are:

1. Not sufficient attachement to resist the horizontal loads (wind, occupancy, seismic).

2. Not sufficient attachement for wind uplift.

3. You will need shear bracing for stability, especially since your deck will probably be 8 - 10' up in the air.

You would be best off if you checked with the local code office for ideas on your concept.

Dick
 
  #3  
Old 07-27-07, 12:23 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think that he said the deck will only be 15" above the concrete. No permit required.

I have never used those deck blocks, so I cannot comment too much on them, but if they are anything like a precast pier, they probably would be OK in this situation. This assumes that the concrete slab is in good condition and is not moving. You might want to epoxy the deck blocks down to the slab.
 
  #4  
Old 07-27-07, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Need opinion on 'freestanding' deck

Sorry - I missed the deck height.

San Diego county can be kind of picky, so a general call on decks may help you find out how concerned they are.

They may not worry about a low deck except for uplift, but it would probably only get as far as your patio door and not the neighbors.

Dick
 
  #5  
Old 07-29-07, 01:15 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: California
Posts: 96
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Damage such as this was the end result from positioning the deck surface flush with the patio door opening. When we replaced the door we had a custom metal pan made for the bottom of the door and the deck will land at least 1 inch below the door frame to prevent water infiltration.

Paste picture link: http://www.fototime.com/4A4A16ED1EB5B3B/standard.jpg
 
  #6  
Old 07-29-07, 04:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OldFrenchy,

Check with your local bldg. dept. about both the need for a permit and the legality of using Dek Blocks where you're at, and then follow their lead.

Where I'm at, any deck that is less than 30" above grade doesn't require a permit. (They are considered "platforms", not "decks". That's one issue.

I'm not a big fan of attached decks because of the possibility of getting a water leak at the ledger. Granted, proper flashing will reduce or eliminate (at least for a while) that possibility, but NEVER in the history of mankind has a flashing of a free standing deck failed, SIMPLY because they don't have one! Any time I am given the choice, a deck I build will be free standing.

Dek Blocks are not legal in Shasta County (or any of the cities therein) for any deck that does require a permit, therefore I won't use them, REGARDLESS!! And placing them on a slab, where they can move around -- I would walk away from a $30K or even a $100K job before I used them. I wouldn't even use them in MY OWN BACK YARD!!!
 
  #7  
Old 07-29-07, 05:48 PM
czizzi's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,376
Received 9 Votes on 7 Posts
Codes vary from area to area. In my area anything resembling a deck requires a permit. The 30" rule only applies to whether or not a railing is needed or not, except when you have 4 or more risers and then it changes everything... anyway, check to see what is allowed.

One would assume that if you can buy Dek Blocks locally, then they would be allowed. However, I prefer a more sturdy structure if I am to put my name on the job. Building at grade in your case offers a wonderful opportunity to secure a structure directly to an existing slab/foundation/patio already in place.
 
  #8  
Old 07-29-07, 09:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
czizzi,

Just because a retailer SELLS IT doesn't make it legal as far as the bldg. depts. are concerned!! The perfect example is the carport awnings. There are literally HUNDREDS of retailers selling them in my town, and NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM is anything that a local bldg. dept. will approve!!!

Codes vary from one jurisdiction to the next. OldFrenchy, OR ANYBODY ELSE will be well advised to go to their own local and CONTROLLING bldg. dept. and see just exactly what is allowed and what isn't!! If I build an addition in the County, one set of rules apply. If I build the same addition in the City, there ARE different rules!!!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: