Dek Blocks vrs. cement footings

I live in the Toronto, Canada area and am planning on building a deck in the next few weeks. I have two co-workers who used dek blocks to build their decks and also anchored the deck to their houses. They swear by using the deck blocks and have had no issues with their decks moving or any damage caused by the floating deck and the anchoring to the house.
I am debating using the dek blocks vs. cement footings. Dek blocks certainly do seem easier then cement footings. I am wondering if anyone in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) has used dek blocks and anchored their deck to the house and if it has caused any issues. I don't know how much movement would occur from frost in the GTA.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
Duke1973
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Duke1973 wrote:

Doesn't seem easier to me, guess it depends on how you are building your deck. If it twer me I would much rather drill three holes, fill the with concrete and go up from there. leveling 20 blocks on the dirt seems like it would be much more time consuming especially if the deck isn't at ground level: http://www.deckplans.com/howto_bracing.html
Dek blocks? NIMBY
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Duke1973 wrote:

Don't know about Canada, but per Dek in the US:
"The Floating Foundation Deck System conforms to all national and regional building codes when the deck is *unattached* from the house."
http://www.deckplans.com/buildingcodes.html
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom 847-475-5668

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The deck WILL move in our Toronto area weather, with all the freezing and thawing we get at the end of winter, the decks will move up and down. The type of soil will affect how bad this will be as well as the amount of water in the soil. This will slowly loosen the nails and/or fasteners at the house wall even if they haven't noticed any movement to date. My deck has concrete down to 4 1/2 feet below the soil level, and I get no movement. Just to illustrate the problems with frost, I have had chain link fence posts pushed a foot out of the ground.

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EXT ( snipped-for-privacy@reply.in.this.group) said...

Those Dek Blocks are designed to be placed on a stable surface. That often means on top of a concrete footing that goes down below the frost line, so they don't eliminate the need to pour footings.
If your house was built, say, more than 10 years ago, then I *might* think about placing them on the ground since the back filling would have settled well enough that the ground *might* be a stable enough surface -- but *think* about it is likely all that I would do.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
Richmond Hill, Ontario
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I grew up on the east coast and can tell you without a doubt the ground will move where you are at...The only way to do it RIGHT is to dig the footiings BELOW the frost line. Yes this is more exspensive but much cheaper that having to fix the deck after a couple of winters or the house if you attach it to the house.....just go rent a post hole auger (gas powered) this is usually a 2 person machine but many newer models require only one. you will have the holes dug in no time.. thinking of doing it by hand? think again you will be there for days bite the bullet and spend the little bit of money for the rental..good luck Duke1973 wrote:

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I'm not from Toronto, but my deck and I live across Lake Ontario in Rochester, NY, with very similar conditions as you have. We used dek blocks for our deck, but we did NOT tie the deck to the house. This deck has been stable, settling very little over the 3 years of its existence, and only because of the 270-gallon hot tub in one corner, where we added reinforcement lumber.
The other important aspect of our deck you need to be aware of, aside from the fact that it's not tied to the house, is that it's only about 2 feet up off the ground. It's not a high deck at all, another reason for the success of the dek blocks for our situation.
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After reading other replies, I'd like to add that our deck is on very compacted soil (the house was built in 1930) that was flat, so we didn't have leveling problems while constructing it. We also did not pour footers of any kind for the blocks, and all remains well three years later. The dek blocks saved us a lot of time and money.
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