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OKDrew63 07-03-2012 06:55 PM

Backyard Project - Patio and a Deck
Iím looking for some help on a porch/deck project Iím researching. I plan on pouring a concrete patio extension off the back of my house and then installing flagstone or maybe tile over it and then building a wood deck for a hot tub right next to it. The concrete pad would be close to 14íx27í, not a square patio though. Iíd like to go with a 12íx14í deck to hold the 8íx8í hot tub. There will be one, maybe two steps up to the deck from the patio.

The deck will be floating, not attached to the house with no entry to the house. It will be about a foot off the ground so I donít need any railings from what I have gathered. I havenít decided on whether to go with sonotubes (or similar) and pour some footings, or just use some Dek-Blocks to support the deck. As Iím in OKC, I wouldnít expect much frost heave, if any. I believe footings are between 18-24Ē in this area, and that would be for piers for a home foundation. Iím unsure whether I need to go with 2x8ís or 2x10ís but I do know I need to beef up the area that will be holding the hot tub.

Once I get the structural base figured out, I need to determine how to attach some privacy panels to the deck to hide the hot tub users. The panels will be around 7í high off the decking so I have some concerns with stability Ė I do plan on using 6x6 posts for these, no more than 4-5í apart, with louvers in between the posts. They will catch some of the OK wind but they wonít be solid panels so that will help. I donít want anything covering up the sun over the deck, so no cross supports from one side of the deck to the other. To attach the posts to the deck, Iíve thought about sonotubes with a galvanized bracket to hold the posts in place or just notching the side of the posts and then bolting them to the rim (?) of the deck, either a 2x8 or 2x10, but either way, Iím thinking there may be a stability/wobble issue.

I have yet to talk to the city about permits or codes, but as nothing is attached to the house and Iím not touching any existing electric, heat or structure, Iím thinking this would be a minimal requirement. I do plan on going with an electrician to run power to the hot tub, not interested in doing that myself, too much power needed.

To recap..

1) 2x8ís or 2x10ís for the joists and rim boards? 2í on center?
2) Dek-Blocks good enough for this application and location or go with an actual footing with a bracket to attach the joists?
3) How to attach the 6x6 privacy panel posts to the deck? Use concrete footings or just bolt them to the rim joists?
4) Any suggestions on how to help avoid panel movement in the wind or will I need to be concerned about it?

Iím sure Iíll have other questions once I get some more direction, but thanks in advance for the input.


joecaption 07-03-2012 07:18 PM

Post some drawings.
Post blocks in you area I'm sure will not work.

OKDrew63 07-04-2012 07:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
This is what I'd like to go with for the privacy panels. As far as my layout, I'm trying to get it into a smaller file, from Excel to something that will download on the site.

Daniel Holzman 07-04-2012 09:56 AM

Decks are usually designed to a particular code specification, in my area we use the International Residential Code. Possibly in Oklahoma there is not a particular code requirement. In your particular case, you apparently intend to support a heavy object (the hot tub) on the deck. Standard code (IRC) does not address design for support of a hot tub, so you are not going to get any information on sizing the joists and beams from IRC.

There are a few choices for designing the framing system. You can discuss the project with the local building inspector, they may know what size joists and beams you need for your hot tub. Alternatively, you can hire an engineer to size the joists and beams based on the specific load of the hot tub, the location on the deck, and the geometry of the deck. Or you can look at another deck which has a hot tub, and attempt to copy their design. Unfortunately you are not likely to get usable information on specific joist sizing for a hot tub over the internet, since you did not post specific plans, or details of the hot tub. Even if you do, it is hard to judge the correctness of internet chat forum responses to structural issues, since you have no idea if the responders are all hat and no cattle, or actually know something.

OKDrew63 07-04-2012 12:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's what I came up with. My main concern right now is how to attach the support posts for the panels, at least I'd like to have a plan anyway.

There's a 4' opening to step up onto the deck form the patio as well as a 4' opening to step out into the yard.

Thanks for the input, I'm unsure on what size hot tub we will be going with, but I'm figuring an 8x8' area, it won't be any larger than that, something like a 4-6 person tub. I think I have the IRC already downloaded, just haven't looked into it yet.

GBrackins 07-04-2012 02:36 PM


Just a thought ... why not pour a concrete slab (a monolithic slab/footing below frost depth) for your hot tub. If you want the wood deck board look and feel you can install sleepers on the slab and then your wood decking.

I'd take Mr. Holzman's advice, he knows of which he speaks. I myself would not trust any internet chat site for structural design. After all you are spending time and money to make this happen. I have an old saying, "You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"

OKDrew63 07-04-2012 02:44 PM

So what are sleepers?

GBrackins 07-04-2012 03:03 PM

sleepers are pressure treated 2x4 that are installed flat onto the concrete slab, typically at 12" or 16" on centers. you can then nail your deck boards onto the sleeps. this keeps you deck boards from being in contact with concrete, and provides a space so that moisture can drain

GBrackins 07-04-2012 03:07 PM

I just think eliminating the steps (steps and water don't mix well from a safety standpoint) and deck construction and going with a reinforced concrete slab would give you a stronger and safer end result

OKDrew63 07-04-2012 03:23 PM

Thanks, I thought maybe it was something along those lines. Honestly, I'm not too concerned with the steps and the water in the hot tub, the bigger issue would be the alcohol. I do think I'd like a step, just think it would help with defining the two areas.

I'm assuming no footings under the slab, just a good base?

I still have the question on attaching/securing the panel posts....

GBrackins 07-04-2012 04:52 PM

you'll have to check with the local building department and find out what your frost depth is. If the frost depth isn't much I'd pour what is called a monolithic foundation (slab and footing combined). You can look it up online. You'd want to support the slab, if not it could settle especially if you are looking to raise the slab above the elevation of your patio.

OKDrew63 07-04-2012 05:21 PM

I was previously told 18" depth but I'll get a firm number.

A monolithic foundation looks like something doable. I'm guessing not just around the perimeter but under the hot tub area as well?

The deck slab will be even with the patio slab, the step would come from the deck framing - if I were to go that route - and I still might.

Using this method, I could pour the monolithic to the required depth for the footing area with brackets for the 6x6 posts. Place sleepers on the slab but also frame a typical deck, using 2x6's, placed on the sleepers. Could even use 2x4's so the step up wouldn't be too high. I'll do a little drawing of what's in my little mind a bit later.

robertcdf 07-04-2012 05:27 PM

I would put the tub on the slab, build the deck around the tub and treat the "privacy wall" as a fence with posts buried in concrete.

mae-ling 07-04-2012 06:52 PM

As robert said except don't bury posts in concrete, pour concrete piles then use post brackets to attach posts to concrete.

Guess it depends how high out of the deck you want the tub.

robertcdf 07-04-2012 07:07 PM


Originally Posted by mae-ling (Post 958035)
As robert said except don't bury posts in concrete, pour concrete piles then use post brackets to attach posts to concrete.

Guess it depends how high out of the deck you want the tub.

Not with those wind sails, he is essentially making a fence for a privacy wall, if you look at those post bases they'll say "Not for use in non top supported applications" (or something along those lines) Would you use the post bases for a fence? No, treat it like a fence.

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