Help building a free standing deck


Old 05-11-15, 07:44 PM
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Help building a free standing deck

I want to thank everyone in advance for the help and hopefully I don't sound too ridiculous asking the questions I will be asking. I am looking at building a free stand 20'x16' deck. I want it to run 20' along my house and extend out 16'. My first issue is ground clearance. It's good and bad. I don't need a permit since it'll be so low and not connected to my house but I am stumped on where to put the footings and support beams. My plan is to have doubled up 2x10's around the whole deck. Then run a pair of doubled up 2x10's down the middle parallel to the house. My questions are can I use 2x8's for the joists since I will have the beam in the middle and the will only span 8'? Next where and how many footings. I obviously can't do them in the corners next to the house so where should I support the portion next to the house and the rest of the deck with the footings. I know I sound like I don't know a thing but if the deck was a bit higher we wouldn't have any issues but this is really throwing me for a loop. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:05 PM
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Would be great if you could post a picture where you want the deck.
Not sure why it would be obvious to anyone why there can not be post in the outside corners.
2 X 8 should be fine.
FYI in your area that deck really needs to be at least 6 below any door openings.
Just because no permit is required does not mean to build it anyway you want to.
I'd be using 6 X 6 post sitting on Sono Tubes set below the frost line sitting on post bases.
Old 05-11-15, 08:17 PM
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I am not sure how I would get down 42" right next to the house to pour my footings. The house is a year old. We have had to regrade the back as you can see in the picture it sank a lot the first winter and that's why I'm not sure about putting posts that close. So I was wondering if there were other options. Maybe 2 or 3 feet from the house? Thanks.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:54 PM
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What is going on with your back yard that it sinks like that? Is this not affecting your house too?
Old 05-12-15, 03:23 AM
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Johakyle, welcome to the forums! Looks like a great deal going on with the landscaping. Footings adjacent to the house must be at the depth of the house's footing, no matter how deep they are. Take a look at this PDF link for deck construction. It will give you the in's and out's of what you can and should not do with regards to free standing as well as attached decks. One thing to consider is you existing ledger. Make sure it is removed and siding replaced, or ensure it is flashed properly to keep water from entering behind it.

We're here, so ask questions. I just thought the reading would give you good references.
Old 05-12-15, 03:29 AM
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While it takes some care it isn't a big deal to level the HVAC unit. Often they just set the pad over loose fill and then time/gravity takes over If your house is still under the builder's warranty get them out to level it!

Shouldn't be a big deal to dig down to the frost line next to the foundation. Is there a flashing over the 2x under the door?
Old 05-12-15, 05:27 AM
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Also, recheck on the need for a permit. Most localities need a permit regardless of height of the deck. What may not be needed is a railing system which could be optional on a deck that close to the ground.

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