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Old 02-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
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My ground level deck project


My wife had been bugging me for years about building a small deck outside the kitchen. Tired of waiting for me to do this, she decided to buy a nylon mat and lay it out in the area on top of the grass. Needless to say, that idea didn't work out so well and as expected, the grass underneath died and it looked awful. The whole premise was wrong from the start and needed to be fixed. I decided to build her the deck she wanted once and for all and started the job on Aug 14 and finished on Aug 30th, 2011, all in the midst of a heat wave. This was a one man job, as I neither asked for nor received any help whatsoever, which is the way I wanted it. The deck is small, being 10' x 12', constructed of pressure treated lumber using G185 hangars and hardware, and stainless steel screws for the cedar decking. I wouldn't have been able to do this job without my trusty little Makita impact driver. Love that tool. The corners are resting on concrete blocks which were leveled on undisturbed, compacted soil. The deck is not fastened to the house.

pic 1 - "the mat"
pic 2 - after leveling the ground, weed block and pea gravel for drainage
pic 3 - G185 joist hangars on PT 2x6's
pic 4 - PT 2x6 joists, 16" OC, installed and braced
pic 5 - cedar decking being installed
pic 6 - before I was even finished screwing down the deck boards my wife went out and bought a loveseat and table

The total cost for the project was just over $700 for the materials. My wife loves it, and that is all that matters.
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My ground level deck project-img_2317.jpg   My ground level deck project-img_2322.jpg   My ground level deck project-img_2327.jpg   My ground level deck project-img_2335.jpg   My ground level deck project-img_2347.jpg  

My ground level deck project-img_2352.jpg  


Last edited by Dave Sal; 02-07-2013 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:18 PM   #2
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My ground level deck project


Looks nice. How long did it take you?

Is that deck just sitting on grade or did you support it (can't tell from the picture). I'm looking at building a deck of my own and thought that even if it's a low deck it needed to have footings? I could be wrong.

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:48 PM   #3
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Took me two weeks from start to finish working alone. The deck is sitting on concrete blocks at the four corners that were laid and leveled on undisturbed compacted soil. Some areas require footings but since my deck is free floating, less than eight inches high and not attached to the house I chose not to use them. The soil is about half an inch below the joists.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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Took me two weeks from start to finish working alone. The deck is sitting on concrete blocks at the four corners that were laid and leveled on undisturbed compacted soil. Some areas require footings but since my deck is free floating, less than eight inches high and not attached to the house I chose not to use them. The soil is about half an inch below the joists.

Ah. I see. Very nice.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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My ground level deck project


Thanks for the pictures. Nice looking deck.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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What kind of deck boards did you use? Are those just the premium boards for HD or is it something better?
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:00 PM   #7
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My ground level deck project


That looks really nice and it's just like adding living space, especially in good weather. You'll really enjoy that.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #8
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My ground level deck project


Nice job, but there is one concern. You made the deck flush to the bottom of your door which will give water access into your home.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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Nice job, but there is one concern. You made the deck flush to the bottom of your door which will give water access into your home.
The joists had to be 2x6's due to the height of the door, and with the thickness of the cedar decking, it came up about 1/2" below the door threshold. It's also about 1/8" away from the threshold, and I've had it up since August of 2011, and to date, have never had a water issue. (knocks on wood)
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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What kind of deck boards did you use? Are those just the premium boards for HD or is it something better?
I went to HD initially but their cedar decking was garbage. Lots of warped boards with cracks and splits, so I checked out Fox Lumber, which has much better quality. The boards were cedar 5/4" x 6" and all were much higher quality than HD.

Last edited by Dave Sal; 02-07-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:09 PM   #11
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This is really nice. What are the pros and cons of this "floating" style? Is there ever time when it makes sense to connect a ground-level deck to the house?



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Old 02-14-2013, 06:18 PM   #12
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I've had this deck since August of 2011. Not much time really, but so far I cannot think of any cons whatsoever. My wife loves it, and even just today mentioned how she is looking forward to being out there on the deck when it warms up.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:28 PM   #13
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This is making me want my deck to be done! Dreading the money I'm about to spend though!
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #14
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My ground level deck project


Nice job Dave... I would love to build something off the back of our house. Right now , just have a concrete pad which is very old/colored. No character. I'll attach a pic once the snow melts and maybe get some DIY input from you guys. Cheers
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #15
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Very nice. I like the looks of the cedar. One plus with a floating deck like yours is when there is some settling it will be easy to relevel. Now you have to build a shade awning for it.

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