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Old 06-13-2008, 11:13 AM   #1
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Ground level deck questions


This is for my daughter that lives in Omaha. They bought a house in dead of winter that had snow over rotted deck,,,time to replace now.

House built in '81. Appears deck support 2X6's or 8's were placed on ground. Can only view from ouitside edge step that fell off,,,small window to view.
Question is,code wise,can you put support stringers on the ground?? Would you use ground contact treated lumber then?? they 'wanted' trex over that,,can you put trex on ground level deck??(only ventilation is between floor boards)

NO space to dig down, would not drain,be a mud hole,ajoins house on two sides size would be aprox. 16X18. how would YOU do it?? seems dad is go to guy for this project!! Somebody is going to fall thru this thing soon,its that bad,altho 8" isnt far to fall!!
Thanks for any suggestions-don-

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Old 06-13-2008, 11:22 AM   #2
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Ground level deck questions


Put in a paver patio.

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What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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Ground level deck questions


I am suggesting NOT to go concrete or pavers,decks "here" are too cold in winter ,spring and late fall,,,too hot in summer.(my personal opinion)

can gain 60-90 days of use a year by being wood!!

Okay thinking maybe of going with 2X6 supporting joists,,how often do I support that?? 4' intervals work?? how is best way, line of 4X8X16" cap blocks leveled in dirt?? Post peirs? or do they HAVE to have 4' footings poured?? seems the last deck lasted 25 years,,,doubt kids will still live there in another 25!!

Thought that ground contact double treated wood would be a better choice than what was available in '81,,,least it 'should' last longer.

Biggest question is,,will trex work in this situation?? OR best decking choice to go with this??
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Ground level deck questions


Too bad they didn't catch it before they closed on the house they could have had the previous owners remedy the problem.


I wouldn't put anything on the ground.

Is this a permanent house on a slab, basement, or pier and beam or is it a mobile home?

I would pour footings that go below the frost line IAW the local code. You can find pretty good books on building a deck at HD or Lowes. Also if you go to the Simpson Strong-tie display they have brochures that explain the loads and spans pretty well.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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Ground level deck questions


It is a house, stick built on a basement. It is sort of an upscale subdivision. They have covenants I wouldnt like.

How would one make real sure the piers and footings are perfectly level to park the supports on??Wouldnt take much to make a mess,high or low???
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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Ground level deck questions


I would demolish the old deck and see what they have under it. You might find existing footings that could be re-used. Might as well demolish now since it is a hazard even if it could be a while before you replace it.

Depending on the jurisdiction you may have to get permits to rebuild it especially if the deck is attached to the house. If it really is laid on the ground I hope it is not attached.

Getting the footings level is not necessary or difficult. They just need to be in alignment with each other and allow for clearance for the joists.

Get a book on building decks from the library or a hardware store and they should have good illustrations on the process to frame the leg posts and joists before you pour the footings to get a square and plumb frame.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:11 PM   #7
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Ground level deck questions


The deck's structure needs to be supported on frost footings. I don't know the requirement in Omaha, but here in KC it is 36". If you simply bear the deck's beams/joists on blocks sitting on ground that will freeze, the deck will heave with the frozen soil, and that isn't good.

Even with pressure treated wood, it is a bad idea to have it touching the ground. Most 2x treated lumber is not treated to a chemical retention that allows burial, although it is listed for ground contact. In my opinion you want some air under there.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:57 PM   #8
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Ground level deck questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4just1don View Post
I am suggesting NOT to go concrete or pavers,decks "here" are too cold in winter ,spring and late fall,,,too hot in summer.(my personal opinion)

can gain 60-90 days of use a year by being wood!!
I don't notice that much difference here in Colorado except that concrete or pavers tend to stay warmer into the early evening when I'm more likely to spend time on the deck/patio. And figure on more maintenance & earlier replacement on a wood deck. I doubt they got 25 years out of the previous deck if it really is in contact with the ground.

My $0.02

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