I've always loved the look of a deck, but my home of two years is on a
concrete slab and the back door is ground level. I have a small 10x10
concrete patio outside the back door, but I'd love to build a deck
instead of just laying more concrete, brick, or stone.
Something in my advantage is the yard going away from my house does
slope down, so I'm thinking though the deck might need to be built up
(maybe 6-8 inches) near the house it might have a 2 foot drop if made
20 feet into the yard. This will make it look more deck-like with a
railing and steps going to the ground.
So -- near the house what can I use for footing? Also how high should
I keep the wood off the patio so it won't rot? My goal is to keep the
patio and use it as the first tier of a 2-3 tier deck. Here's a link
to Deckplans.com and a project similar to the one I'm looking at:
Thanks for any thoughts, concerns, or things to look out for during
such a project.
This varies in code by municipality, so check your local regulations,
According to what little I know, footings are generally recommended to
be concrete and finished above grade level so that dirt and mulch
would not ever get in direct contact with the wood. Evidently, even
cedar will rot if moisture that cannot drain is left in contact with
Indeed. Minimum footing depth varies a _lot_. From a foot in some
places to >5' elsewhere.
Exactly. Ideally the concrete extends above the dirt, and is slightly
slanted on the top so that a wooden post (in a U bracket) mounted on
top won't capture water. But if the leverage the post may impose
(tall posts) prevents that, make sure that the soil above the
concrete/wood interface drains well, and still slope the top of the
If the wooden post has to extend into the ground, make sure that you
put a few inches of gravel in the hole first, drop the post in, then
pour a few inches of gravel, _then_ pour the concrete. This is so the
butt end of the post will drain.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
No help from here, no concerns, just a few thoughts,
like - thanks! I've got a very similar situation
except mine would be about a foot at the start, and
about 3 ft dropped at the outside. On top of that, to
one side is a huge, cement septic tank complete with
manhole covers and everything.
I've been slowly, over time, pouring sections of
concrete to make a patio out of it, but I'm disabled
and that's taking me a LONG, long time! Maybe once a
month I can manage to mix cement when I can get a
nephew over to help out.
As a result, I've been thinking about wood, but not
quite sure what to do about it. Wood I can still
handle, at least as far as a deck goes. There's
already a 12' x 16' enclosed heatable but not heated
porch there, but I really want some "outdoor" space.
That stepped pattern really appeals to me because I
think even a wheelchair could naviate them if need be.
I have to use a wheelchair for the most part, but I can
still use my legs for short periods of time, so even if
it was me alone, I think I could still get the chair up
those steps if they were small enough. What's really
great would be not having the ramp, or just a small
one, just for the chair, when/if it's needed.
Plus, if it were done right, I can envision part of
it being movable, to expose the septic if full, clear
access should be needed, and have it hidden otherwise.
Just notch-fasten it to the main deck.
Yeah, I know, too verbose; I'm just tired of being in
What are you using for the deck? Pressure treated is OK right on the
concrete. There are also metla brackest that hold the 4 x 4 and anchoring
to the footings. It keeps the wood an inch or so off the ground so it will
not sit in water. As for footings, that will depend on the code where you
live. It can vary from 12" in mild climates to over 48" in cooler climates.
If you have that much of a drop it may look OK. If it is flat, it may look
kind of silly ionches off the ground. You also want to look at putting
something (wire mesh type stuff) on the ground under the deck to discourage
rodents making a home. Skunks, rabbits, like to live under low porches and
decks. Did I mention snakes?
Look at the different woods available. Mahogany, Ipe, cypress, cedar, all
look much nicer that presure reated. Coat it with Penofin Oil before you
assemble it to seal the bottom. Given a choice, I'd opt for a nice patio,
stepped if needed, and no maintenence every year or two.
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