Tips On Building Deck At Ground Level

by Renato
(Montreal)

As noted in the title line above.... I need whatever help or tips you could provide to build a deck at ground level.

It's actually a 2-level deck. The 1st level is relatively low to the ground. I guess low enough so that the 1st level is a "STEP" above the ground thereby eliminating the need to build steps.

The 2nd level would be 1 step up but once again "no steps".

How do I build the base for the 1st & 2nd levels. I was thinking of using pre-fab brick bases used for decks. If the 1st level is so low I presume that the joists (2x6s) would rest in these bases.

But I'm worried about leveling the deck framing if the joists are placed directly in the bases without any 4x4s thereby having no easy method to level the framing by repositioning the 2x6s on the 4x4 uprights.

The other question I have with building this deck so low to the ground is that I guess that I would need to dig the bases into the ground to achieve the desired 'low to the ground' height.

How deep do I dig and how do I prepare the base for these pre-fab bases? Material?

YES!! I'm a novice, the only other experience was when I helped a friend build our 1st deck. He told me what to screw and where.

Since then I've been gaining more general DIY experience but need precise plans for this to work or me to be able to even get started!

Thanking you in advance for whatever info or experience you can share.

Renato (Desperately need help in Montreal)

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Jun 06, 2013
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Deck at Ground Level
by: Build a Deck at Ground Level

All timber wood floors are made from sawn wood and are the most common category of engineered wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is composed of two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank.

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Aug 05, 2009
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We build lots of ground level decks
by: Barnettdeck

See our work at BarnettDeck.com

Aug 05, 2009
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Countersinking is Confusing
by: Anonymous

"Countersink?"

When there is less than 18" from the sill plate (bottom of the threshold) to grade you can't cantilever.
Actually 22' from dirt because you always want to use plastic and 4" gravel, especially near grade.

You should dig in a perforated drain while your at it to act as a wick.

Aug 04, 2009
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Another Thought
by: Anonymous

I've always found counter sinking a beam and having the traditional 2 foot cantilever simple. This works really well if the deck is hung off the house because leveling the deck a few years down the road is a lot easier if you dealing with a beam rather than multiple pads to re level.

Nov 20, 2008
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Always use piers!
by: Barnettdeck

NO NO NO. Use piers just have your joists hang off the beams not load over the top. You'll need to use hangers, double or triple up a joist for your beam.

www.BarnettDeck.com

May 04, 2008
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Building a Ground Level Deck
by: Anonymous

Building a ground level deck poses some challenges because there is usually not enough room to use beams on which the deck joists will rest.

You want a 1st level deck that is about 8" above ground and suggested using those concrete deck blocks. However they will put your deck too high above the ground.

My suggestion is to build your deck frame as normal but simply rest it on a series of 24"x24" concrete patio stones.

The stones should be set on a bed of stone dust. You should have a patio stone every 3 or 4 feet apart in every direction because your joists which will be either 2x6 or 2x8 will not have a beam below them. No joist should span greater than about 4 feet between the patio stones.

Draw this arrangement up on some graph paper.

You will have to use shims of some kind to make sure that the joists make solid contact with the shim and the patio stone below so the deck is firm and not wobbly. Use a line level and take your time.

The end result is a deck which will float above the ground regardless of the frost. Using many patio stones to spread the weight reduces the risk of any one point in the deck sinking. This will get your deck as close to the ground as possible.

The 2nd level may require some 4x4 sleepers on the patio stones to elevate it just a bit more. Hope this helps.


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