Ipe deck over uneven concrete


Old 04-16-16, 06:57 PM
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Ipe deck over uneven concrete

We are planning on an Ipe deck over a badly poured concrete pad.

I'm extremely limited in the deck height to clear doors, so can only use 2x4 sleepers flat. Will also need to shim these sleepers so water can drain underneath... probably using some sort of PVC material.

Ipe size will be 1x6.

1) Was planning on PT sleepers 16" OC
2) What would be the best OC distance for shims? Or distance between shims? So sleepers don't flex down too much.
3) Fasteners for sleepers?

The plan is ultimately to avoid sagging decking material and allow drainage under the deck.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 04-16-16, 07:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Laying 2x4's on their sides is not a good way to place them. They flex too much. You will need not only water drainage, but a way for the area to dry out via air circulation, which you don't have a plan for.
Old 04-16-16, 07:23 PM
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Sam it would be good for you to add location to profile as they will have bearing on answers you receive.

One concern I would have with your plan is the eventual buildup of organic matter and dirt under the IPE without any good way to clean it out. I think it will pretty quickly build up to the point where your attempts to facilitate drainage with spacers under the sleepers will be ineffective.

Perhaps you can devise a way to make sections of the decking removable to allow periodic flushing of the slab.

I'd also be concerned about uneven drying of the decking leading to warping and twisting of the IPE. IPE is tough stuff but if the bottom is always damp and the top dries well in the sun it will lead to problems.

Have you considered removing the slab and using pavers or stone instead? I think that would be a better approach given low ground clearance is a problem for any kind of wooden deck. Given the cost of IPE, you may find it would actually cost less to have the slab removed and pavers installed instead.
Old 04-16-16, 07:27 PM
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I agree with the drainage problem but I don't think that Ipe flexes much. That is one of the hardest Brazilian rain forest woods. The entire boardwalk at Jones Beach in NY is Ipe.
Old 04-17-16, 06:34 AM
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Got to agree with the other posters, not a great plan and a waste of that high dollar wood to do it that way.
Old 04-17-16, 10:22 AM
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I'd be inclined to pour some bedding sand and make a paver patio.

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