Deck Question - Underneath??

Hello -
We are having a deck built at our gome. The deck will be 20x20, and fairly low (31 inches from the ground).
The contract we signed was very thurough, although I am thinking something was missing now.
I was wondering what preparation was needed to the grass area over which the deck will be built. I am assuming I should spray something to kill the grass. After that, how do you keep other things from growing up thorugh the deck?
I would have at most 1 day between the footers being poured and the deck being built, so I would need to do something fast.
Deck is scheduled for August, so I would like to get ideas soon so I know which direction to go with this.Should the builder worry about this or me?
Thanks in advance!
Chris
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i'd dig up the sod, rake the soil at a slight angle away from the house. cover the area with landscape fabric and cover that with a couple of inches of crushed stone - then your all set :)
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That sounds good. Should you put some sort of screening to keep the skunks, rabbits, or whatever from digging in to make a nest? I've heard of putting chicken wire but I don't know how effective it is.
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You said that the deck will be 31". Assuming that means that the underside of the deck will be 25" or so, you will find it not attractive to animals. Especially if the outer perimeter is fairly clear. It's not a hindrance to predators (dogs, cats, foxes, coyotes and even the odd wolf around our parts).
The front and back decks on our house[*] have about 25-30" clearance over sand, and even with shrubbery at the perimeter of the front deck, no animal has ever taken up residence.
Recently, we put in about 18" worth of firewood pile along about half of the back deck perimeter. I know a skunk occasionally seeks shelter behind it, but it's not living there.
Our shed (previously 0-12" clearance) has had raccoons, skunks and the odd groundhog living underneath. Porcupines chowed down on the floor joists...
When we rebuilt the shed, we followed the advice of local animal control (more or less ;-). Use "wire cloth" (it's welded screening with 1/4" or 1/2" square openings) straight down from the perimeter joists into the dirt, then the screen should extend outwards horizontally (buried) out at least 12".
We didn't bury the skirt as much as they recommended (12" I think) - we only went a few inches. No problems since. There's a small deck on the shed, but as we've ensured it's clear of the ground all round, aside from the occasional animal hiding there temporarily, nobody lives there.
[*] Our house is partially nestled in, and is mostly surrounded by forest. _Lots_ of wildlife. Ie: deer are seen at least once a week, sometimes daily. Except for that solved by screening around the shed as described above, and some rocks judiciously placed near the garage door slab step, we don't have animal digging problems. Well, except for the skunks rolling sod on the septic bed.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Sounds like rob has it covered. If needed, you can rent a sod cutter that slices the sod. All you gotta do is roll it up.
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Hopkins wrote:

I just dumped a load of gravel about foot deep. Tony
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"SilverUnicorn" wrote

<snip>
<snip>
If you want add-ons or upgrades, discuss it with your contractor. You're sounding as if you're expecting an add-on at the contractor's expense. You can't sign a contract, then wonder who's going to do the additional work. Keep an open line of communication, you and your contractor will be pleased.
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Absolutely. If the contracter did this, I would by no means expect it to be free. I was just wondering if anyone else has been in the situation and what came of it.
Thank you for all the replies though.
CHris

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Once the grass gets covered with deck, it will not grow anymore due to lack of sun. Then it will be just dirt.
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SilverUnicorn ( snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com) said...

You did say you had a signed contract. Most contracts I am familiar with have a clause for "Change Orders" that basically says that any additions or alternations to the specs of the work to be done are negotiable, meaning that you can discuss what else you want done, the contractor will give you a quote for it, and if all is agreed, you will sign what is essentially a contract for the addition.
Putting everything in writing is the best way to avoid misunderstandinigs later.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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SilverUnicorn wrote:

Wouldn't you expect the contractor/deck expert, to have mentioned if there was additional preparation normally required under a deck he builds?
--
Joe

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