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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old entry deck that is in desparate need of replacement. I want to build a much larger deck (20' wide, 12' deep) with a clipped corner and staircase. We had the patio poured the other day, so you can sort of see where the stairs will land. It will go from the right side (of the picture) of the bay door, and extend 20' to the left, which is where the stairs will be. I would rather build the deck free standing, so I don't have to mess with the siding, flashing, and water concerns.

Here's my problem: the AWC book says you can't put footings closer to the house than 5', unless they are level with the house foundation. Since I have a basement, I can't reasonably dig a 8-10' deep hole. I can't cantilever that 5' to the house either. If I were to attach ledgers to the house, I can't use the bay door for any vertical support because it overhangs the foundation. Although it is possible to frame around a bay, the max you can do is 6' and it seems like a lot of trouble. I thought about putting a beam 5' from the bay and cantilevering the 3' to the door, and doing a ledger on the walls of the house, but a couple of the joists would be cantilevering more than allowed.

Anybody got any ideas? Thanks!
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For a deck that height, i would sink 6x6 posts about 36” into the ground about a foot off the house and build the deck. Heck, for that height i might consider using 4x4 posts.
 

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Maybe hang lower beams from the foundation and then post up to the needed beams going the other way.
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I have an old entry deck that is in desparate need of replacement. I want to build a much larger deck (20' wide, 12' deep) with a clipped corner and staircase. We had the patio poured the other day, so you can sort of see where the stairs will land. It will go from the right side (of the picture) of the bay door, and extend 20' to the left, which is where the stairs will be. I would rather build the deck free standing, so I don't have to mess with the siding, flashing, and water concerns.

Here's my problem: the AWC book says you can't put footings closer to the house than 5', unless they are level with the house foundation. Since I have a basement, I can't reasonably dig a 8-10' deep hole. I can't cantilever that 5' to the house either. If I were to attach ledgers to the house, I can't use the bay door for any vertical support because it overhangs the foundation. Although it is possible to frame around a bay, the max you can do is 6' and it seems like a lot of trouble. I thought about putting a beam 5' from the bay and cantilevering the 3' to the door, and doing a ledger on the walls of the house, but a couple of the joists would be cantilevering more than allowed.

Anybody got any ideas? Thanks! View attachment 651204 View attachment 651205
If you're gonna build a free standing deck then why not just use floating footers? I think you should just use a ledger honestly the flashing isn't that much of a hassle. Compared to the entirety of the project it's actually a nice break from more tiring work lol
 

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For a deck that height, i would sink 6x6 posts about 36” into the ground about a foot off the house and build the deck. Heck, for that height i might consider using 4x4 posts.
You're suggesting he doesn't need to worry about pouring footers just pack it with dirt? If so then yea I def agree. Just put some gravel at the bottom I've seen posts like this that have lasted decades and we're still solid when I pulled them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Where are you getting that 6 ft figure? Its not from the AWC's DCA6 figure 5.
Figure 35, on page 23. It says you can put a footing in to reduce the span to less than 6', but the footing needs to meet spec which is further than 5' from the house which still doesn't solve the problem. It does seem the code wants you to do what Nealtw said, but that 5' from the house footing thing is still a problem.

A floating deck is certainly an option, but I would much rather get footings below frost level. I'm in Utah and do have all 4 seasons. I'd also like to keep any wood from coming in contact with the ground. I'd like to build a deck I never have to replace or maintain.

This was my original plan, but two of the stringer have a long cantilever, and I think the cantilever can only be 1/4 of the span, which is more than this.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I built a freestanding deck (which I'd like to) that's what I want to do, but the footings would be 2' from the house, which is apparently not allowed per AWC. I don't think the IBC says anything about it. On your second example the cantilever is too much, hence the 'bent beam'.
 

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Floating footers? Is this another flipper solution of yours, like the cut “rim joist” discussion on the other forum?
I'm just spitballing. I always do a ledger. Here's another one: frame out five feet with horizontal 4 by 8s that run through the house and tie to the joists at a 2 to 1 length ratio. Then sink posts under them five feet out. Kind of like framing a balcony. I could do this all day.
 

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I looked in the awc guide, on the page you mentioned, and I didn’t see the note about the footings being a certain distance from the house.

And what is the length of the joists in front of the bay window?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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The bay sticks out 2'

The basement is completely finished, and there is a kitchen so any construction inside would involve removing that, which... no! lol

I do appreciate the outside the box ideas
 

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Build the deck the required distance from the house then frame a balcony from the deck extending to the house five feet, just tie them into the deck joists ten feet with bolts that's the code where I live anyways. Think you only need them every 4 ft if they're 4 by 8
 

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I looked in the awc guide, on the page you mentioned, and I didn’t see the note about the footings being a certain distance from the house.
Footings always need to rest on undisturbed soil. When they dug the foundation, they probably went about 3 feet beyond the actual foundation wall. You won't hit undisturbed soil until you are below the house footings.
 

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Maybe give a call to a landscaper or fence contractor. Ask for a price on a handful of 12" or 16" holes x 8 feet deep. For guys who bore holes every day, its probably not a big deal. A few extra bags of concrete to drag home.
 

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Sos-1 In regards to undisturbed or Virgin soil that the house is built on is it possible that soil can become a virgin again or undisturbed in definition if it has been more than X amount of years since the house was built like seven years or 10 years or even 15 years


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