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doechsli 08-15-2012 10:34 AM

Deck Question
I currently have a poured concrete patio out my back door (sliding patio door). It is two steps down (24 inches) from the door to the patio. I'd like to build a deck that is at the height of the back door. Several questions.

1. Should the deck be a few inches below door level or level with the door.
2. Can I stand the 4x4 supports directly on the poured patio? The deck size will be the same size as the patio and the patio is solid and does not frost heave.
3. How should I leave access to get under the deck for clean out of leaves and debris?
4. Any pitfalls in doing this?

AndyGump 08-15-2012 01:55 PM

If the patio slab is a min. of 3.5" you MIGHT be able to install posts on the slab.

There are too many unknown things to give you a complete answer to any of your other questions though.

Are you intending to get this permitted or does it even need to be?

Have you talked to your local Building and/or Planning Departments to see if you can do this?


woodchuck 08-15-2012 05:17 PM

With two feet under the deck you can use a leaf blower. Just leave a door in what ever material you use as the side of the deck or make it completely removable.
Level with the door would be best in many ways.

nealtw 08-15-2012 05:37 PM

If you are using a waterproof membrane on the surface, it should be down 6" from the door. You might be better to make it free standing from the house as to not create leaking problems with tieing it in. If you're not sure the deck will take the weight with just a 4x4 going down, Build a wall out of treated material with 2 top plates, no beam required. If you do tie it to the wall use vinel flashing to go behind the house wrap and on top of the ledger against the house. Waterproof membrane should run some 6 " up the wall behind the siding and under the door threshold.

doechsli 08-16-2012 12:17 PM

It will be free standing as the house is brick and no waterproofing underneath....just a frame with 5/4 treated decking spaced appropriately apart. I will likely have this done professionally just want to be sure of what I can/cannot do.

nealtw 08-16-2012 07:12 PM

Checking the height where the new stairs will be is good place to start when deciding on height. Comfortable steps have 7 to 7 1/2 inch risers. So you want your deck to be something like 21" or 28" above where the stairs land on the walkway. If you can do that and have the deck a few inches below the door, your in the money.

BridgeMan 08-17-2012 06:35 PM

You should also consider not resting the support posts directly on the existing concrete surface--too much of a tendency for the end grain of the posts to suck up moisture and rot, especially if they will be cut from longer pressure-treated members (leaving the untreated interior areas exposed). Write up your contract with the deck builder to have him field treat all cut ends of all pressure-treated members with copper napthanate; doing so will make your deck last twice as long. All bidders will probably say they've never done this before, and that it isn't necessary--just remind them who is paying for the project. And make sure to specify using galvanized steel anchor brackets (with stand-off gaps) on the bottom of each post, drilled and anchored into the existing concrete.

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