Can we extend our deck past the house?

by Bruce

We plan to build a deck on our house. The back of our house is straight all the way across. Extending out of the middle of the back of our house is an enclosed sun room that is 14 feet wide and 18 feet out from the house.

When walking from the house into the sun room, the sliding door that leads outside is on the left. When going outside from the sliding glass door on the left, the back of the house on that side is about 10 or 11 feet across.

So picture an L shape, the short part of the L is the back of the house (our dining rooms outside wall) and the long part of the L is the sun room wall (14 feet from the house to the outer corner of our sun room).

I would like to extend the deck a couple of feet beyond the corner of the house (along the dining room outer wall) in order to gain more square footage for our deck.

My plans were to then plant something taller in that corner of the landscaping to balance out the extension so the deck does not look silly from the street. My wife thinks it would look bad to extend the deck beyond the corner of the house. I have seen a few deck photos online where people have done this and it looked fine.

We also plan to extend the deck on the long part of the L about 4ft to 6 ft beyond the end of the sun room. What would you advise us to do about extending past the corner of the house?

Our yards are not wide so we are limited on the width of the deck. Yard dimensions are 70 x 140. The deck will be about 3' above the ground since our backyard slopes slightly. Thank you for any help that you can give to us.

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May 14, 2010
Settled Soil
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

That is a good comment - being 5 feet past the wall of the foundation. But there is a bit more to that. The purpose behind that is to cover off situations in new construction where the back fill has not settled.

So another footing within 5 feet would have to be just as deep as the houses foundation. A lot of work.

But in an older home the soil within that five foot zone is most certain to have settled. You should just double check with you local officials who will be familiar with this section and can interpret it properly for you.

And so if I am not mistaken, it is not an absolute but dependent on soil condition. Please double check with your town to see exactly how that is interpreted.

May 14, 2010
by: Anonymous

You need to extend over 5 feet to get out of the "overdig" area of your foundation. That is piers set within 5 ft of a house settle.

Then you have to find out about setbacks on the side lot line. Check with your city planners.

Third your wife is probably right as usually they are.

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