Raising an existing deck

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Old 05-27-14, 08:52 AM
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Raising an existing deck

I have a split level deck. There is a 12x12 screened portion attached to the house and the same height as the floor of the house, about 10 feet above ground level. There is also 12x20 open, free standing portion, about a half level down (4.5') connected to the screened portion by a stairway.

I am tired of walking up and down stairs to get to my open deck, and I would also like to be able to use the space underneath it. So, I am wondering whether it would be possible to raise an entire deck. A related question is whether this would save any time/money over just rebuilding from scratch.

I know that jacking up a deck should be technically possible since entire houses can be raised. For a house, I would probably leave it to the pros, but a deck seems like it should be much simpler, so I am hoping to DIY.

Everything I can find online about raising decks so far seems related to fixing a sagging, attached deck where the posts away from the house have started to settle. In that case, stability is provided by the fixed attachment to the house. But in this case, the deck is free standing, so once it is on jacks I would need to do something to keep it from falling over, I suppose.

Before I proceed with construction I would certainly get permits, have a structural engineer sign off on it, and have it inspected at the end.

My thinking is to possibly even reuse the existing footings, and only replace the posts (mostly 4x6s and some 4x4s). It would be great if I could cut the existing posts maybe 6" above the ground, and bolt new beams on top of them, connecting them to the nubs of the old posts with some heavy steel plates or something. Does this seem like I'm headed in the right direction?
 

Last edited by orulz; 05-27-14 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 05-27-14, 09:39 AM
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Photo attached. Not a great photo since I didn't take it specifically for this post but it's the only one I have on hand at the moment. (The deck is, of course, behind the mini excavator, which I was using to dig a footing for a block retaining wall and stairs.)
 
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