First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!

 
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:05 PM   #1
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First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


First off.... AWESOME SITE!!! Been reading for awhile now and you guys rock!

As a furniture/bar builder I'm not all that familiar with decking so I need some help here please.

*edit* I'm in NJ*

The wife is forcing me to build a ground level deck extending 8 feet from the back of our house with a length of 20 feet. I have the plans drawn and the wood ordered but my problem is the footings. a few questions:

1 - I have been told that free standing ground level decks do not need cement footings below the frost line...is this correct?

2 - Another problem is that I n eed the deck to be free standing (not attached to house) But there is a cement sidewalk the entire length of the back of the house that butts against the slab the house sits on. I can't break this up to dig posts....been there 40 years and is at least 8" thick (my dad didn't mess around apparently!) after an hour of sledghammering I didnt even get a crack...can I just attach a U bracket for the joists onto this sidewalk/slab?

I am going to be building the deck using this as a guide...but the footing situation has me stumped.


(sorry...I cannot paste the link because I am a new member...it's a ground level deck plan on home depots site)


Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

Mike

Last edited by steelhumm; 05-09-2009 at 06:08 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


I believe that you are technically correct.
Make your structure independently rigid, so it "floats" on the surface, and dosn't mess with the house.

HTH,
~Matt

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Old 05-09-2009, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


Any deck built in NJ must, by code, sit on footings dug to 36" below grade. Whether or not this applies to "ground-level" decks I'm not sure.

Now, if you're not getting permits for this job then do it however you like. If you're going to anchor the inside end to a 8" slab then do the same to the outside end. That is, pour 8" thick concrete feet to set it on, unless it will be sitting on the same slab.

Not the recommended method but it will work.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


I'm guessing that the Despot
does not carry ground contact
lumber.
You might want to check what
you are going to use here.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by steelhumm View Post
First off.... AWESOME SITE!!! Been reading for awhile now and you guys rock!

As a furniture/bar builder I'm not all that familiar with decking so I need some help here please.

*edit* I'm in NJ*

The wife is forcing me to build a ground level deck extending 8 feet from the back of our house with a length of 20 feet. I have the plans drawn and the wood ordered but my problem is the footings. a few questions:

1 - I have been told that free standing ground level decks do not need cement footings below the frost line...is this correct?

2 - Another problem is that I n eed the deck to be free standing (not attached to house) But there is a cement sidewalk the entire length of the back of the house that butts against the slab the house sits on. I can't break this up to dig posts....been there 40 years and is at least 8" thick (my dad didn't mess around apparently!) after an hour of sledghammering I didnt even get a crack...can I just attach a U bracket for the joists onto this sidewalk/slab?

I am going to be building the deck using this as a guide...but the footing situation has me stumped.


(sorry...I cannot paste the link because I am a new member...it's a ground level deck plan on home depots site)


Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

Mike

if the slab hasn't moved in somewhat-odd years odds are adding a few pieces of acq won't change its resolve. you don't need to be below frost line if the thing will just be laying in the dirt.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


i don't know about NJ but even here in the peoples republic of Maryland there is no permit required if the deck is
1 Freestanding
2 within 8 " of grade
At least in Anne Arundel Co
The City of Annapolis requires a permit or four to wipe your A**
Explanation
Exposure permit to drop trowsers
splash permit
wipe permit
flush permit
Please submit your permit application in triplicate and we will review said application and get back to you in 6-8 weeks. If you are historic district is the wiping apparatus anitque or at least a 50 year old sears catalog. You will also have to get approval from the Historical Commission that will take 4 applications and a review and hearing before approval and will add 6-8 weeks to the process.


Hope this wasn't an emergency
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


Bison deck supports.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:14 AM   #8
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


Structures 200sf or less and an eave hieght under 10ft dont need footings. You may choose to do it for your own piece of mind. Another words so your work dont twist or heave unevenly. I had one last year that I really tried to avoid footings for. The design had shapes that I would have had to dig a dozen of them just to lay on the ground. I chose to do footings anyway for 6x6 beams with anchor bolts that finished ground level. I trenched out a couple of inches below and about 6 inches on the sides of the 6x6 for gravel to aid drainage making sure to treat any field cuts. The rest of the deck framed like a floor on the 6x6 with more weed screen and gravel underneath.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:17 AM   #9
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


I just built a floating deck last year, it was about 8 feet wide and 15 feet long, same circumstances as you, but instead of having a concrete sidewalk on the side, i had a retaining wall.

All we did, was dig down about 8 inches and filled the hole in with 3/4 crushed stone. Tamped it, than laid pressure treated 4x4 on-top of the crushed stone, put out decking over that, and we were golden.

I don't know what your local code says, but we were allowed to build right on the ground.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:35 AM   #10
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


thank you all for the suggestions! I like the look of theose bison deck supports, looks like it wouldn't be hard to adjust back to level in a few years if settling does happen.

Where to buy them?

I should just dig and set posts on the cement tubes..but I'm only 6 weeks out from losing my pointer finger so I'm trying to keep the labor as easy as possible.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:54 PM   #11
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


1 - I have been told that free standing ground level decks do not need cement footings below the frost line...is this correct?

Have to have a minimum footing depth of 36" from the finished grade.

2 - Another problem is that I n eed the deck to be free standing (not attached to house) But there is a cement sidewalk the entire length of the back of the house that butts against the slab the house sits on. I can't break this up to dig posts....been there 40 years and is at least 8" thick (my dad didn't mess around apparently!) after an hour of sledghammering I didnt even get a crack...can I just attach a U bracket for the joists onto this sidewalk/slab?

Deck footing closer then 5' from the exterior of the house, must be the same depth as the house footing. R403.

A while back, some towns allowed free standing decks under 200 SF with a maximum height of 12" above ground level to be built without any footings, in some cases with out permits. Stop by and ask, maybe your town allows it...if not, worst can happen they will say no...you will still have to get the permit.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:15 PM   #12
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


you can make a floating deck(this is over concrete)

if you doing on the grade do a 2x6 frame and level with pancakes like a shed!

just dont attach to house,so its not a permenant structure
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Last edited by Five Star; 05-10-2009 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #13
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


these are on deteriorated concrete slabs
Attached Thumbnails
First ground level deck...need advice please!!-301.jpg   First ground level deck...need advice please!!-271.jpg  
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:23 AM   #14
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


Five Star how old are they? I dug footing's just because I thought the water run off would cause more heave movenment around the edges of the deck than the middle.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:45 AM   #15
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


It's amazing how much deeper
the frost penetration becomes
once you strip the sod.
That turf is far better insulation
than you would imagine.

Ask some excavators what happens
after a site is stripped.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:11 AM   #16
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


The footing needs to be below frost line, if not, it will move.

On the house side the right way would be to rent a jackhammer and put the footings in. If you do not want to do that, you might get away with a post bracket on the sidewalk. There is a good chance it will be OK due to the age of the walk.
I would also re-think the size. A 8' width is not very usable.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:55 AM   #17
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


I'm not getting a permit for this...this town sucks and can kiss it before I get a permit...they've made enough money off me with all the permits they made me buy for my pool last year.

Deck is going to be 8' from house and 20'long... can't go much larger than 8' because I only have 15' from house to the patio around my inground pool and I want to keep some yard for my kids...so I split the difference.

thanks all for the help...eventhough I've gotten a different opinion for almost everyone....lol
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:22 PM   #18
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


just to update... I had a BAD day and rather than yell and scream I took out the sledge to vent. I broke up sections of the sidewalk where posts will go, or cement tube... haven't decided what I'm doing yet.

I'm going to rent an auger and go down 36" as that seems to be the best option.

DO I have to use the tube method then attach the frame on the cement with hangers (remember...ground level deck, is going to be a
double 2x6 beam on the short ends
2x6 rimjoist on the long ends
2x6 joists)

OR

Can I cement 4x4 posts into the holes and bolt the deck frame to the beams? This would be the easiest method for me but not sure if just bolting the deck frame to the posts will be secure enough...man making bowling alleys are so much easier
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:38 PM   #19
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


I guess you not getting any permits so you can do what ever you want...
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:23 PM   #20
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Re: First Ground Level Deck...need Advice Please!!


sure...but thats not the question...question is will using a 4x4 post notching it and bolting the rim joists to it will be strong enough to support.

my not getting permits has nothing to do with the questions I asked...I spent last year sending check after check to my local town hall for permits that I never heard of for my pool and I passed every single inspection with the inspector NEVER GOING IN MY BACKYARD!!! its a fraud to make the city money...screw em.

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