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Mr. Shed 07-05-2009 02:34 PM

Detached Ground Level Deck

I am looking to build a 12'x24' ground level deck detached from my house.

I will be using 12' lengths of Ipe'. Below is a rough sketch of my first attempt on how I think the frame of the deck should be. Is this a good start? What size joists can I get away with? I want to keep this deck as low as possible for the sake of not having a high step up.

If this frame is a good start then can someone tell me how many and where and what size the sonotubes should be? And also what, if any other joists need to be doubled up.

I am an electrical contractor by trade so although not a carpenter I do understand most construction lingo, any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.


Mr. Shed 07-05-2009 05:32 PM

SNC 07-05-2009 08:09 PM

what is Ipe ???
if your joist span 12' you will need them to be 2x10

Scuba_Dave 07-05-2009 08:35 PM

Where are you located, snow load?

IPE is wood deck boards

Mr. Shed 07-05-2009 08:37 PM

Ipe' is a type of wood. Ironwood is another name I believe.

So the way I want to frame the joists will work? I want the joists to sit right on level sonotubes and clamp right to the double 2x "whatever" only about 1" higher than grade if possible. I am just wondering what joists I should double up/where and how many tubes I will need. there a better/different/the right :laughing: way to frame a grade level 12x24 deck. The deck boards will be 12' in length so minimal if any cutting is needed.

I'm in central NJ. Sandy soil, 3' frost depth. But....detached from house, not a permanant structure etc etc etc.....but I do want it sturdy and as low as possible. My house is low to the ground, so even though it will be detached it would look silly if higher than one step off the ground.

SNC 07-06-2009 04:49 AM

You will need to double up the ends that will be carringing all your joists, and the center beam i would triple since it is carring both sides.
dont forget to use hangers. get the triple zinc ones

Scuba_Dave 07-06-2009 10:11 AM

Sizing calculator
Yioucan play around with it & see IE putting more posts in VS larger/more beams

Gary in WA 07-06-2009 05:42 PM

Welcome, Mr. Shed. As SCN said. Joist and beam sizes and spans:

Sono tubes, loads, footing sizes, frost heave:,M1

Be safe, G

Mr. Shed 07-06-2009 10:37 PM

Thanks guys,

After looking at those sheets and a few other online calculators I have come up with a revised drawing.

If I am correct I think I can reduce the lumber size to 2x6 if I were to built what would essentially be 3 separate 8'x12' boxes and bolted them together sitting on the 12 sonotubes laid out in the configuration seen below.

*Corner tubes will be 6", Intermediates will be...I think 9"?

So, if I were to frame it this way would only the 4 outside tubes be 6", all the rest 9"?

I am trying to keep this deck close to the height of a "natural" step.

Am I close? :huh:

If and when I get a proper sonotube layout planned I am gonna have to start looking for tips and tricks on how to get all of them poured to exactly the same height so the beams rest on them perfect, I don't want any posts and would love to do as little shimming as possible........any links for that type of stuff?

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