A few deck building questions

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Old 08-18-15, 04:41 PM
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A few deck building questions

As soon as we finish the retaining wall we are going to build a deck. We have a cape cod with a covered porch the length of the house. You exit the porch to the left, down 5 steps to a concrete patio, then 4 more steps to the sidewalk. I am removing the cement patio and putting a 1412 deck. Where the 4 steps are I am blocking off. The deck will extend past the retaining wall by 3 feet.

My wife was concerned that by the time I add a beam, and then the joists it is going to make the deck considerably higher than the old patio was.

So I could either remove 8 inches of dirt from the entire area which is a lot of dirt or I could dig a trench from post to post so that the beam was leave with the retaining wall. That way I am keeping the beams off the ground but I am concerned that the trenches may eventually collapse and put then beam partially in dirt.

Thoughts on the above or another idea would be appreciated. Hopefully that rambling made some sense.
 
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Old 08-18-15, 04:52 PM
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First of all, we could use some pics. Not that I would use trenches, why would anything collapse? In PA, you need 4' footings below the posts.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 05:25 AM
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Old 08-19-15, 07:34 AM
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You didn't say how big the deck will be, but if it is similar to the patio, why do you need a beam anyway? You could just move the posts to the corners and your rims will act as your beam. Just be sure to use joists hangers.

Another option is to install sleepers which you are thinking of by burying the beams in the dirt. You could build this free standing without footings if it is not attached to anything, but it will move with the frost every year.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 09:04 AM
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Wood needs to be able to breathe. Have to wait for the pics but it sounds like you're building too close to the ground.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 12:38 PM
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I will try to get some pictures up tonight. The deck will be 14x12 approx. The old patio area was only 9x9 so but turning it into a deck we will gain some space. Part of it will be close to the ground and part of it will be hanging past the retaining wall which will be about 4 feet off the ground. It is not going to be attached to the house so it will be completely freestanding.

Pics will show the story.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 01:07 PM
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It is not going to be attached to the house so it will be completely freestanding.
That part I'm happy to hear
 
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Old 08-21-15, 08:26 PM
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I have been trying to get a picture up for a fee days. It keeps telling me it is too big, but it is just a basic picture taken with my phone. I will try again on Sunday when I am on home computer.
 
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Old 08-21-15, 09:02 PM
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Use photobucket.com
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Old 08-22-15, 04:32 AM
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You need to resize the phone pic for it to work but uploading to photobucket [or similar] also works, just provide the link.
 
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Old 08-22-15, 02:35 PM
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I had it in photobucket and was trying to embed it and was having trouble so here is the link

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g228/barbiaux/deck/20150817_120339_zpsay16vehq.jpg

You can see where my front retaining wall is going to go. The back stone wall is coming down this week and I am putting in another wall and squaring it off in the back right.

Our plan right now is to add a deck that way I can extend the area out past the front retaining wall. My wife would like it to stay a similar height which is why I was talking about digging trenches for the beams which would make the joists right above the front retaining wall. Even doing it that way would make the new deck 12 or so inches above where the current level is.
 

Last edited by barbiaux; 08-22-15 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 08-22-15, 03:51 PM
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http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g228/barbiaux/deck/20150817_120339_zpsay16vehq.jpg

Name:  20150817_120339_zpsay16vehq.jpg
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Last edited by PJmax; 08-22-15 at 10:18 PM. Reason: added picture from link
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Old 08-22-15, 08:03 PM
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Suppose you built the deck level with the porch? It would save a lot of work. You wouldn't have to remove the patio. Can you post more pics that include the end of the porch, above the stairs & the stone wall?
 
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