Ground-level deck - flush beams, cantilever, etc.

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Old 03-06-16, 08:38 PM
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Ground-level deck - flush beams, cantilever, etc.

In lieu of a patio, my wife's current idea is to build a ground-level deck. Being most comfortable with wood, I am OK with this, as I can do it without even needing any help. Well, that is, past the design phase.

The deck (or rather, wooden patio) will be the following: 12'x20', directly underneath our elevated deck, and then a 12'x19' area next to it (so 12'x39'). However, the 19' foot area will have a trapezoidal bumpout (the corners, at 12' from the house, will go out four feet). So the furthest point is a straight line 11' wide.

I don't care for the deck blocks as I don't feel they're very secure. I will do poured footings - concrete is cheap, and I have the occasional night or weekend to dig and pour. No big deal. That said, where would you put footings? I have three deck posts potentially in the way (approximately 10' from the house, supporting the ledger deck).

I plan to do flush beams as the height between grade and the deck level is only about 6", so I want to use 2x8 or 2x6 joists with doubled beams of the same nominal dimension (set on the footings, no posts). This minimizes both the digging and the height above grade. I know I should be able to cantilever near the house (that's all one height), but for flush beams I can't cantilever the trapezoidal bumpout portion (or can I)? It seems silly and I should just put two additional footings 11' apart, no?
 
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Old 03-07-16, 04:20 AM
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I don't care much for grade level wood decks. When wood gets wet it needs to be able to dry out promptly and not having any air circulation [or reduced circulation] slows down the drying process and often leads to a reduced lifespan of the wood. IMO you are better off pouring concrete or using pavers.
 
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Old 03-07-16, 08:01 AM
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Additionally, if you do stick with the deck idea (I'm with Mark and would not) I would avoid the ledger board and go free-standing - why poke holes in something which is keeping water out now?
 
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Old 03-07-16, 08:44 AM
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We initially thought about concrete, but the price seemed far too high (even for decorative concrete) and it wasn't really our style. Pavers were (are) a decent option, and we do have access to maybe 1/4 of the stones needed for free. The downside to that is that it requires more digging, tool rental (plate compactor), multiple deliveries of stone and sand, and paver cutting, none of which I like. Still, that's probably my favorite option, but a deck can be done myself with no additional tools required. I'm also a woodworker at heart.

I did not have any plans to attach the deck to the house - it's all concrete anyway (the foundation). This is the walkout basement side of the house. I was asking whether I could cantilever with flush beams. I know I could do this with joist on beam construction, but flush beams with hangers I don't think will work.

I was going to excavate well enough near the house (the highest point of the grade) and keep it dry underneath so that moisture will be limited. There will be ventilation as well.
 
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Old 03-07-16, 10:47 AM
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Everything you ever wanted to know about decks in one complete publication. This is probably the mai guide your local permit office will also be using. However, check with your locality to see if they have over riding ordinances that they follow.

http://www.awc.org/pdf/codes-standar...Guide-1405.pdf
 
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Old 03-07-16, 02:19 PM
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While I'm partial to wood, there are a lot of advantages to having concrete - longer life with less maintenance.
 
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