DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, new here! Hoping someone could answer a question. My husband and I have one day (together) to install a small floating deck (pressure treated lumber- fresh from the store) off the back of the house. 8 x 12 on concrete piers. About 20" high total. Unfortunately there are some rain showers expected today. Nothing too bad I'm hoping. Is there any reason we couldn't install it while it's wet/ raining a bit? The ground is all cleared of sod and rocks, just need to level it. (not sure if rain would make leveling soil impossible- we are using pea gravel under the piers also)
I've read you should wait for pressure treated lumber to be totally dry before installing because it will shrink. But I've also read you can install it while wet and just not leave spaces between the deck boards so it will shrink and leave spaces for rain to come through. ( just bought yesterday- still green and juicy from chemicals)
I want to do it correctly, but it's been raining everyday here in Massachusetts and I'm worried about all this lumber and concrete piers killing the lawn in the back yard waiting to be used. Any thoughts? Thanks very much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thought I would just add a photo of the spot were putting the deck. It was taken last year. All the sod was taken out where the deck will be. Were planning to have it end up about 4 inches below the door, showing 1 row of shingles. We also didn't plan to bury the piers since the instructions didn't say to, but I keep finding things online that say you should bury them. It said the main benefit of a floating deck was no digging, but I want it to be secure...?!
 

·
Civil Engineer
Joined
·
5,832 Posts
I could not tell much from the photos. Have you already poured the concrete piers that are going to support the deck? I did not see them in the photo. I recently built a deck in Massachusetts, and my concrete piers had to go 4 feet deep to prevent frost heave, and the holes had to be inspected by the local building inspector. Or perhaps your town does not require a permit, and no inspection?

In any case, I built a 320 square foot deck with a staircase essentially solo, and it took me probably 40 man-days. My deck was built from ipe, which takes longer than PT to install, but even at that you are building a 100 square foot deck, presumably with framing to support the deck, and piers to support the posts, and I can't imagine getting it done in one day, but maybe you are ten times faster than I was.

Anyway, I would seriously think about using an alternative material than PT for the deck top, since PT is toxic, prone to splintering, and notorious for warping as it dries. Especially likely to warp and crack if you install it green, since the moisture content could be as high as 30 percent, and it will ultimately dry to about 15 percent in MA. Framing is often installed green, since the framing is typically connected using galvanized brackets, and shrinkage and twisting are not as much of an issue with hidden framing as exposed deck, but still if you can let the PT framing dry for a month or so in the garage before using it, you will reduce movement issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply! We went with a floating deck system that doesn't get attached to the house. So it not poured concrete, it's piers that sit on the ground. It's just for low free standing decks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,194 Posts
Thanks for the reply! We went with a floating deck system that doesn't get attached to the house. So it not poured concrete, it's piers that sit on the ground. It's just for low free standing decks.
As long as you're happy about the deck shifting up and down due to water and freeze cycles, you can lay it on blocks sitting on the ground.
Water won't bother the wood.
Ron
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top