How to build a ground level deck with deck blocks

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How to build a ground level deck with deck blocks

Deck blocks are specially constructed portable foundations, generally made from poured concrete. To support a wooden deck, deck blocks are quick and easy alternative to digging footings. Each block is design to support a wooden structure at the primary joints, acting in the same fashion as a poured concrete foundation.

How to Build a Ground Level Deck

To use deck blocks, level the places where the block will be placed. Using a mason's string level, add or remove soil beneath the blocks until they are level from end to end. Be sure to pack the earth before replacing the block after each adjustment. Deck blocks are ready to have the edge of a 2 x 6 placed into it. For corners, deck blocks are built to accommodate 90 degree angles.

By placing the deck blocks carefully at the outset, a deck can be quickly assembled in a matter of hours. Because they are not recessed in the ground, deck blocks keep your wood off the ground and prevent the problems that occur from columns standing in water for long periods. The entire deck is automatically elevated to the perfect height above ground for a single intermediate step leading onto the deck surface.

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how to build a ground level deck with deck blocks

Using Deck Blocks To construct a Deck. Written by Doityourself Staff. Popular Articles. Building a Deck without Footings: Is It By Tim Bossie. How to Build a Floating Deck. By Perry Carpenter. How to Pour Concrete for Footings.Have you dreamed of entertaining guests outdoors?

Ground level decks also called a floating deck or a platform deck are decks that are close to the ground. Easier to build can also mean lower costs than an elevated deck.

Some of the most expensive components for a deck are railings and stairs. Since a ground level deck does not require safety railings or stairs to access, the cost to build one is comparatively lower than building an elevated deck in terms of both materials and labor. Ground level decks set outdoor living spaces apart and give you a beautiful area to add chairs, potted plants, and even a grill for entertaining. It provides you with a level of space to enjoy your property and time outdoors.

how to build a ground level deck with deck blocks

However, there are a few things to know before you start building your own ground level deck. As with all DIY projects, the success is in the planning. There are many different types of ground level decks, including decks that require footings and those that are attached to your home.

The beauty of a ground level deck lies within its simplicity. You can choose a pretty area of your yard to build your deck and admire the view. Or, you can also dress it up with pavers back to your house if you want a more polished, elegant look.

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The choice is up to you and your own personal backyard aesthetic. However, you will need to consider drainage below your deck. Does the ground slope for water run-off? If the bottom of your deck frame is less than 6" above the ground or partially buried, you should use pressure-treated wood that is rated for ground contact.

This type of wood has a higher level of preservative that guards the wood against rot and decay.

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Do you want a step or two to your platform deck? The ground under a platform deck will get wet. Sustained dampness is the enemy of a ground level deck since it will lead to mold, rot and decay. Make sure you build your deck high enough for ventilation so the ground can dry out. That way, your deck will last longer. Generally, if a deck is less than 12 inches above the ground, the perimeter of the deck must be open for free air to flow beneath the deck.

You can also place your structure on top of gravel for better drainage.The main reason we moved to Michigan was to be closer to family. We love to build but even more we love to help out family, so when my brother-in-law asked me to help out on a deck build I jumped right in! We designed this deck to be a freestanding deck, we did this because in the county he lives in a deck attached to the building becomes taxable.

To avoid this we decided a floating deck would be the best option. We wanted to keep the design simple and clean, so with the help of our friends over at Kreg Tool Company, we used the deck jig and let the wood do all the talking.

Note: The following post is by no means the only way to build a deck, or even the best way. It is the way that we choose based on our needs. If you would like to support our site and help keep our content free come find out more about how we can make money with no extra cost to you. First and foremost, always check your local codes and pull permits if required. Pure coincidence, or maybe not. Since this is not connected to the house the deck blocks were sufficient for us and saved us a lot of time.

The required depth of your footing is determined by your local code. To do so, dig your holes with a rented auger or post hole digger and pour the cement into the hole to create a footing. With our deck being freestanding, the frost may heave it up slightly but once it thaws it will settle back into place. Now that we got that out of the way.

How to Build a Ground Level Deck

This meant we would need three beams however, there was a bump out in the house that would require another small beam. Either way we needed 11 holes for the deck blocks.

Next, we placed the deck blocks and assured they were where they needed to be. Then we made sure they were level and if not we added more stone dust to the low side, tamped it down and checked again. We ideally wanted to be slightly lower than that. Then, we headed over to the saw and cut them all down to size making sure to place them back in their correct block. Placing the beams we double checked for level and made sure the beams were square to the house and spaced correctly apart.

Then, we added the cap to our beams since we would be using the beams to create a step. It ended up being a little higher than I would have liked but I think we will eventually add a row of pavers or something if the last step proved to be too high.

This was one of my favorite parts of the whole deck build. This screwless look is so cool! To conceal the fasteners we used the Kreg deck jig. It was more work but in the end we are so glad we did it. Kreg states that it will work with cedar or redwood decking as well as composite decking with a square edge not with the groove in the side.

We got 2 jigs to help us get jiggy with it speed things up. This also helped speed thing up. After all the deck boards are secured we dropped a chalk line and cut it with a circular saw. Then we repeated the same process for the steps and the deck was done! Or so we thought. Check out our deck staining post! The color turned out so fricken amazingly you are not going to want to miss it!Courtesy Fiberon Decking.

Have you considered adding a deck to your outdoor space?

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While it may seem confusing or downright daunting at first, we are here to help with our handy guide to building an outdoor space. In this guide we will cover materials, planning, and building to help you confidently construct your brand new deck.

There have been entire books dedicated to the ins-and-outs of deck building. Consider this a primer, with lots of useful tips and also to get a sense of whether or not this is a project you really want to tackle! Ground-level wood decks are typically not ground-level By constructing the frame from non-rotting pressure treated lumber, you don't have to worry about this deck ever needing repair due to mildew or fungus invasion! And choosing a non-rotting, durable, prefinished decking material such as Fiberon composite decking will complete the circle, giving you a virtually maintenance-free deck aside from occasional cleaning with no chance of rot-related deterioration.

The first thing to do when constructing your deck is determine what size you would like it to be. For a simple rectangular ground-level deck, all you may need to visualize it is to lay out a string line with stakes to get the sense of the size. When measuring, keep in mind that the typical deck joist spacing is 16" O. Unlike raised decks on posts, supports can be very shallow.

In fact, low decks do not need the type of deep foundations that are common for raised decks Shallow foundations do not "pop" or "frost heave" due to freezing the same way deep ones do and any slight movement will be uniform across all shallow posts.

Be sure to get your local inspector's approval if necessary in your area You can make your shallow foundation in a couple of ways. One way is to use preformed deck blocks. These blocks are dug in to the desired depth right into the ground without any need for a concrete base in most circumstances.

The gravel will allow water to drain away from the base of the blocks, further decreasing the chance of frost heaving, and also give you an easy way to adjust the level of each block to get the most even support.

I would not use a frame lighter than 2"x6" lumber. Using 2"x4"s will lead to a frame that is too springy and may sag under load, such as during those huge parties you will be planning An alternative to deck blocks is to use rectangular patio blocks, laid underneath the corners of the deck and at 4' to 6' intervals directly on the ground. You may not want your deck to be level.

Most builders will slightly tip a deck to control where the water runoff goes. Famous last words Use your "four corners" as a guide to digging out the rest of the ground under the deck, if needed for a slightly "below grade" deck. Clear away all grass and soil to a depth that will allow you to lay your joists across the deck blocks. Since you are using pressure-treated lumber, you need not leave any extra space under the dirtFloating decks are so called because, rather than being attached to a building as are standard decksthey simply "float" on top of the ground.

They are also called freestanding decks, for the same reason. Floating decks are much easier to build than standard attached decks and typically don't require a building permit. Floating decks can be set directly on the ground or, preferably, a bed of gravel. But it's best to support the deck on concrete blocks. This keeps the wood off the ground and away from moisture so the wood stays drier and lasts longer.

You can buy special blocks designed for deck support, or you can use standard solid concrete block the type without holeswhich are cheaper and give the deck a lower profile. You typically do not need a building permit for a floating ground-level deck, but confirm this with your city's building department before starting your project.

In some cases, you may be subject to zoning rules, which govern the size and placement of all structures on a property; your city office will provide guidance. A deck does not need a handrail or stairs if its walking surface is under 30 inches above the ground. However, it's best to keep a floating deck as low as possible. Even a fall from a height of 12 inches, or so, can easily twist an ankle or cause more serious injury. If you need to remove more than a few inches of soil to prepare the site for your new deck, callthe national "Call Before You Dig" hotline, to have all underground utility lines marked on your property.

Clear the ground where the deck will be installed, removing grass and all other organic material, as needed. Rake the ground so it is flat and level, and tamp it well with your feet or with a hand tamp tool. Arrange 21 concrete deck blocks in a rectangle, creating seven rows of three blocks each.

Arrange the remaining rows of blocks so all are evenly spaced between the corner blocks. Use a level and a straight foot-long board to make sure all of the blocks are level with one another.

How To Build A Deck // DIY Home Improvement

Clear a flat area of lawn or use a garage floor or driveway for building the deck frame. If necessary, you can also build the deck on top of the concrete blocks.

Tips and Ideas on How To Build a Floating Deck

Measure the two foot 2x6s; if they're anything over 10 feet, trim them to exactly inches lumber often runs a fraction of an inch longer than the nominal dimension; in this case, 10 feet. Do the same to mark the other end joist. Place a standard joist so it is centered on each pair of lines, making sure the tops of the joists are flush.

Place the deck frame onto the concrete blocks so the frame parts rest over the centers of the blocks. Use a framing square to check the corners of the frame for squareness degree angles. Square up the frame, as needed, by pushing diagonally from opposing corners this takes two people.

Re-check with a framing square to ensure the frame is square. Confirm that each concrete block is level and makes solid contact with the deck frame. If necessary, add or remove soil or gravel beneath blocks to adjust their height. Measure all of the foot-long deck boards, and trim any as needed so they are inches each. Place one deck board along one long side of the deck frame so it is flush with the outside face of the end joist.

Drill pairs of pilot holes aligned with each standard joist, with one hole going into the end joist and one into the standard joist. Position the holes slightly off-center so they won't interfere with the frame screws.

how to build a ground level deck with deck blocks

Install the remaining deck boards using the same techniques, spacing them evenly apart. Pressure-treated lumber is the least expensive and most durable option for the deck frame and decking boards. For a modest upgrade, you can opt for Southern yellow pine SYP for the decking material, which typically has fewer knots and a better appearance than standard pressure-treated decking. Going further up the scale, there is cedar, followed by redwood. Choose these for looks only; they're not as rot-resistant as treated lumber, despite their reputation for being naturally decay-resistant.

Composite decking is also an option. It is generally made from recycled material, requires no finish or maintenance.What ground level deck footing options are out there, and which one is right for your deck plan?

Quick Navigation. A ground-level deck, sometimes referred to as a floating deck or platform deck, is so-called because, unlike conventional decks, a ground-level deck is not attached to a home or building. While a floating deck might be next to a building, it may also be a standalone structure in the middle of your yard. Floating decks are also called ground-level decks because they typically hug the ground. According to the main code provision for footings, the only requirement for building a deck that is freestanding is that it must have a minimum footing depth of 12 inches below the undisturbed ground surface.

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There is no need to extend a footing below the frost line, as is required for standard decks. This almost goes without saying, but you need to use pressure-treated lumber when you build a deck.

As with standard decks, your ground level deck will be exposed to the elements, so pressure-treated lumber is required to prevent your deck from rotting. This is even more crucial with ground level decks as they will likely make ground contact due to their nature. This means the deck frame will be more exposed to moisture, making them more susceptible to rot. As such, your build time for a ground-level deck should be markedly faster than it is for a standard deck. These relaxed restrictions allow for footings that are sometimes cheaper or significantly easier to install than footings for standard decks.

Below is a comprehensive list of the options you have to choose from.

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Deck blocks are cheap and easy to install. For these reasons, deck blocks are one of the most popular options out there. That said, they do have their limitations. Due to their small footprint, you need to distribute the weight over a large number of deck blocks to prevent the blocks from sinking into the ground. This means more footings than other options require. Like deck blocks, concrete blocks also represent a cheap yet effective alternative for footing your ground level deck.

This method functions by taking concrete blocks and laying them on a bed of gravel. The footings are leveled using a string line.Increase your outdoor living and entertaining space by building your own ground level deck. This video includes a material list and step-by-step tutorial on how to build a deck.

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Dig holes for piers, fill with concrete and let it set up. Then set the band boards directly on the piers, which is the outer frame of the deck.

Next you'll install the floor joists and joist hangers. Nail in the sattles, then lay down decking. Mark the overhang you want and cut off excess with a circular saw.

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email. How to Build a Ground Level Deck Building a Deck Using Composite Wood How to Build a Herringbone Screen Double Decker More Videos. Adding a Stylish Pergola DIY Deck Improvements How to Build a Little Free Library How to Build a Unique Privacy Wall How to Build a Pergola Composite Deck Build a Backyard Custom Horseshoe Pit Using Fabric in Outdoor Spaces Dream Deck Lounge How to Paint a Concrete Patio Floor Deck Cleaning: What to Know Creating Visual Privacy How to Build a Retractable Canopy.

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