advice on building deck

hi all, not sure if this is the correct group, so I hope I don't upset any one!
I want to build a copy of deck that I saw in a book. Here's a picture;
http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn281/jzfredricks/?action=view&current=japanesedeck.png
I've never tried something like this before, so I was hoping for a few tips/answers.
So here goes;
1) each plank is higher than it is wide. This looks unstable. What's the best way to attach it to the horizontal beams?
2) would it be a huge issue if my entire deck was closer to the ground? In this pic it looks about 6 to 8 inches, but I want about 3 or 4 inches.
3) what kinds of wood should I use?
4) do the horizontal beams go through the vertical legs? or would 2 smaller ones just be attached to the leg?
thanks in advance
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Lots of different ways from brackets that attach underneath: http://www.grabberman.com/Deckmaster/HowToInstall.aspx
clips, you will need a special too to cut the deck boards: http://www.ebty.com/installation_hidden_deck_fasteners.php
screw down through the top of the deck boards http://www.rjleahy.com/Store/sds/sds.htm
What you use will depend on the materials you select and how 'clean' you want the job to look when done.

Not if you use these http://www.deckplans.com/support/sizeshape.html
I've never tried them but they require the deck to be freestanding.

Pressure treated for all of the joists & beams whatever you want on top including plastic wood like Trex

At the height you are looking for you would probably need to use joist hangers. This site has a decent example similar to what you would need to do minus the roof support posts http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/decks/oldporch/framing/joists.htm

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Well, to be plagued by a "limp arbor" (ahem...) you seem to have covered the subject <quite> well.
The only thing I would add is that our local half priced book chain always seems to have plenty of books, especially the Time Life series of books on building decks.
They have some pretty good illustrated details on building in them.
Good post, LA.
Robert
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I have these on my side deck and they work great. The deck is small, 8ft by 4ft with stairs taking up about 1/3 of one end on a long side.
We didn't want it permanent and these blocks were the solution. Now, every 2-3 years we can lift the deck up out of the blocks and move it to the driveway (about 6-8ft away) to power wash, repair and re-seal. Once done, just move it back and no hassles trying to work around the house, windows, siding, plants, etc.
The only thing is these might not be available in the size you want, but I bet you could make your own form and pour your own.
`Casper
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thanks all for your helpful posts. I'll go and try to digest it all, and I'm sure I'll have some more silly questions soon :)
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http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn281/jzfredricks/?action=view&current=japanesedeck.png
Not necessirily unstable unless the height far excedes the width. This particular design however is wasteful of wood. Wide side down accomplishes more in function than looks. Counter bore each deck board, scrw, and plug the hole.

NO, other than having to bend over farther during construction.

Pressure treated, mahogany, Ipe. Do you want it to last? Ipe might out last you.

Either way however seldom do beams go through legs. they are usually "let-in" on one side or simply nailed or bolted on to the side.
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On Wed, 4 Feb 2009 09:05:13 -0600, "Leon"

It's Japanese!...in this case I think the builder had in mind deflection *and* aesthetics. What really has me concerned, and would doubly if I was charged to build such design, is twist issues. Boring and countersinking and screwing would be *some* stopgap, but I'm still not sold...like joisting, if there were blocks involved twist becomes irrelavent. Fasteners attached in a down direction are easier, but involve plugs and those don't weather well...attaching in an up direction hides the fastener; design comes in here, but remember that whatever is *under* is not visible. I like the idea of having the deck removable...build and flip!
cg

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