Lakefront deck plans - Need ideas

Old 03-30-09, 12:15 PM
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Lakefront deck plans - Need ideas

All you DIYers out there, let me have your 2 cents worth...

We just bought a lakefront cottage and want to put a deck on. I'm tired of boring square decks. So we are looking for ideas. Here are the parameters... It needs to be a platform deck (about 14x25) because of the lay of the land...We want a railing on it to contain a very large (and lazy) wet dog after a day of swimming. We are thinking about spring loaded gates so that we can pull the gate open to exit the deck. The dog is lazy and has no thumbs so she wont be able to open the gate. I like the glass ballusters to keep from blocking the view, but I want to keep the "flavor of the neighborhood". This is a 100k lakefront home on a lake with similar homes. A $15k deck is going to look sorely out of place. Any ideas for a nautical feel? Have you seen or used ropes or dock lines for railings? Reused any interesting materials?
Old 03-31-09, 11:39 AM
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I've seen a few older decks down on some smaller lakes in my area that have used mooring lines draped between posts as a railing, however depending upon location and zoning issues that may or may not be feasible. It does look nice in the proper setting and if code restrictions aren't an issue, that would be ok maybe. There's a wide variety of hardware for your gates available that will be dog proof. Do some looking on line and you'll find a lot of ideas, starting right here on this sight. If you still can't find what you're looking ofr post back & I'll point you in the right direction.
Old 03-31-09, 01:57 PM
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How high off the ground are we talking? If more than 3' in most areas you will be required to install a balustrade system with spaces no larger than 3 1/2" between the members. The glass panels are horribly expensive, and , as you said, may stick out like a sore thumb.
Old 03-31-09, 03:48 PM
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The first key is going to be deck height, as mentioned by chandler. He said 36", but around here the 'magic number' is 30". If ANY little spot of the deck is more than 30" above grade, the entire deck (at least that level of it) has to have a railing that meets code.

A railing that meets code is one that is 42" tall and a 4" ball can't pass through it.

"Expensive", as Chandler called the glass panels, is relative. I did a railing with glass panels about 4 years ago, and it worked out to about $80/ft., contractor installed. Other options in that bid were vinyl railing at about $45/ft. up to composite railing that was pushing $100/ft. It's railing, and you can expect it to cost about as much as you will spend for the deck itself.

Rope works, assuming that the deck is low enough that only one or two runs of it are needed. But if you had to have runs less than 4" apart (and they would have to meet the side load requirement of virtually no give under a 200# load), then cable would be a much better choice. And a 5/32" or 3/16" horizontal cable becomes almost invisible. But you are back up in the $100/ft. range with it. SS isn't cheap.

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