Building a new deck

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by HandyAndy, May 26, 2011.

  1. May 26, 2011 #1

    HandyAndy

    HandyAndy

    HandyAndy

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    Hey all!

    I'm looking to build a 12 x 12 ft free standing deck behind our house and a question comes up: floating or not? Wife wants floating for cost, but I'm leaning towards burying 4x4's past frost line (42" in Michigan) and creating a non floating deck. I believe it's more stable and will last longer without having to re-level. Now, I could make a floating, but I believe it would take quite a bit more excavation to create a level playing field. My fear is, over time, things would shift and we'd end up with a sloping deck from sinkage or shifting.

    Project Guide: Building a Ground-Level Deck

    This link shows how to create a floating deck from home depots website.

    Finally to my question: The floating deck on the web shows them pouring a 8" dia hole-12" deep for a footing and not worrying about the frost line. Isn't this wrong???? Doesn't this go against the whole reason of going below the frost line??? Wouldn't this shift???

    It just seems wrong and too cheap to last.
     
  2. May 26, 2011 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Floating is the key word here. Sounds like 48" would be a nice number. I would dig it deep.
     
  3. May 26, 2011 #3

    kok328

    kok328

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    Either plant your posts below the frost line or use those blocks that just set on the ground surface. Anything that involves a digging a hole for a footing is not a "floating" deck.
     
  4. May 27, 2011 #4

    chaluska

    chaluska

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    +1

    the deeper the better.
     
  5. Jul 30, 2011 #5

    cindygiggs

    cindygiggs

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    I second that! :agree:
     
  6. Jul 30, 2011 #6

    BrianKiernan

    BrianKiernan

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    There is nothing wrong with a floating deck in my opinion. Is a deck connected to the house and set on proper piers better and more stable? Yes! But if done right a floating deck would be fine.

    Couple of key points if you go the floating route.

    1. Do not attach to the house.
    2. The deck should not be to high off the ground, no more than 48".
    3. Use some sort of block to sit the deck on, don't set the wood right in the dirt.

    Other than that if the deck shifts around during the freeze thaw cycle over the winter you can just adjust the blocks that the deck is sitting on to make level again. Just prop up the low end remove the block add some crushed stone under the block to raise up and that will fix the problem.
     

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