Deck designing help

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Old 08-18-16, 01:56 PM
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Deck designing help

I'm hoping to add a deck to the rear of my townhouse and I'm looking for any feedback I can get about my plans. Images are here: https://imgur.com/a/IGGIe. To sum it up, I'm hoping to add a 10' x 14' deck 2' or less off the ground to avoid installing any railing. The deck will span the entire width of the property (~14'). I'm located in Washington DC.

Specifically I'm worried about the AC condenser unit - it sits nearly flush with the back of the house currently. I have a few HVAC guys stopping out tomorrow to give estimates on either moving it back a few inches or potentially up to the roof. Moving it back (towards the house) a few inches will most likely cause it to no longer be within the manufacture's guidelines if I place a deck in front of it. I realize neither will be cheap but I'm just unsure what other options I have.

As well, I am hoping to attach the deck directly to the house with a standard ledger board but I'm unsure of exactly how best to do with my setup. There's a 5" x 1/2" lip that juts out where the brick meets the foundation - I assume I'll want to mount the ledger to this. I looking for help understanding how to go about attaching the ledger to this without trapping water behind it and accelerating the ledger rot. As well, the area directly under the door is currently brick which I'm assuming should be removed; I'm unsure of what to do with the resulting gap as I doubt that "lip" (apologies that I don't have a better word for it) extends behind the steps. I believe there's concrete steps below the brick which will most likely need to be removed.

Any help or advice is appreciated!
 
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Old 08-19-16, 07:18 AM
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I am hoping to attach the deck directly to the house with a standard ledger board
Welcome to the forums. I'm not fond of punching holes in perfectly good (meaning watertight) walls, I would build a freestanding deck instead.
 
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Old 08-19-16, 07:35 AM
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A freestanding deck will give you some latitude to leave the AC in place and build around it. That may offset the cost of going through the concrete to set posts instead of using a ledger board. The one thing in the picture that concerns me is the downspout draining to a floor drain. It really looks like the water has already damaged that wall near the vent. Covering it with a deck will put it out of sight and you may not realize if it gets bad until it is too late. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if you have a moisture problem on the inside of that wall or crawlspace from that water pooling. If you are going to dig up some concrete to support the deck, consider piping the downspout directly into the drain pipe.

- Peter
 
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Old 08-19-16, 08:26 AM
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Freestanding sounds like it will be much easier in my situation but I wasn't sure exactly what I would be trading off by not attaching it to the house. Happy to take the advice here and go that route instead.

I was planning on using a concrete anchor bracket and sleeve to attach directly to the beams and forgo posts due to the low height; something like:



I may have to end up using some posts though if I can't get the height I need from these anchors.
 

Last edited by jaredb; 08-19-16 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Words.
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Old 08-19-16, 08:32 AM
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The one thing in the picture that concerns me is the downspout draining to a floor drain.
Good point - I wonder if there's a way to connect the downspout to the drain while simultaneously also allowing other water that pools in that area to drain properly as well.

Also, thanks all for your help, really appreciate having someone to bounce some ideas off of.
 
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