This backyard deck was a beast of a job. But it was the perfect candidate for the Deck Foot Anchor™.
The soil was good. No rocks to speak of. Maybe a few small roots but no significant obstructions.
There was no need to connect this deck to the ledger and deal with the extra work and details that would require.
Concrete deck blocks were not permitted because of wind lift concerns along the Florida coast. It had to be securely anchored to the ground.
For all these reasons, the Deck Foot Anchor™ was a great solution and now this otherwise undesirable job was now a realistic possibility for an average do it yourself homeowner.
Jim is from Jacksonville, Florida and he built this massive (1200 sqft plus) three tiered ground level deck using thirty Titan Deck Foot Anchors.
He is just an ordinary home owner - probably just like you - and he was facing a huge labor project if he was going to use concrete footings.
Jim had no desire to break his back in
the hot Florida sun digging and mixing cement plus setting hardware for
dozens of footings. Nor did he want to pay that much for materials or
hire a crew.
When you are looking at a job site as large as this and you factor in the idea of working for a day or two at least digging, setting forms, back filling, mixing and pouring cement, it really makes you think.
Jim had some pretty ambitious plans for three ground level decks staggered and layered over each other to create a floating appearance. He knew that if he wanted to pull this off on his own, he desperately needed a solution.
The first thing that needs to be done is to level the site or at least the locations of the footing. This site was already nice and level.
Using batter boards will really help you align your footing locations perfectly. And if you find you cannot drive a footing down in one location, you can retract the auger and move it along the string line and try again.
Batter boards make this a lot easier to do.
If you look closely you might see something a bit different about the way Jim framed this deck. There are no beams.
Or another way of saying it is that the beams are the perimeter joists. And then all the in field joists are hung against the sides of the beams for a flush finish.
This little trick will save you at least 8" of elevation because beams and joists are in the same plane.
This drawing does not mimic exactly how Jim has done his framing but it does show clearly the idea of hanging joists from the sides of a common beam that is resting on the footings.
If you want to save some height and get your deck as low to the ground as possible, this is the way to go.
This point deserves a really good illustration. The larger image below makes it very clear how you can reduce the elevation by hanging joists flush with the tops of the beams.
The underside of the joists can be as little as 2" above grade. The top of the deck can be less than 12" above grade and you could cantilever the deck as much as 24"(but 18" is probably best) beyond the footing to completely hide them.
Check out how Jim was able to easily set the finished elevation of this first deck just below the sill plate of the patio doors.
He also used a technique we often recommend which you should take note of and that is to alternate the direction of the decking from one deck to the next.
It can really differentiate each deck.
As you look away from the house and to the second and third deck you can see the effect of the alternating decking, the elevation differences and the orientation of each platform. This is wonderful way to build large deck structure without creating something that is visually oppressive.
The property is large and so a tiny little deck would not work well either.
Here is how the deck anchor works in colder freezing climates. This shows a 24" auger completely within the frost zone of the soil. The entire deck "floats" as the soil expands when frozen and contracts when thawed. Your deck has to be free standing and not attached to the ledger.
Notice that the auger itself does not and cannot "heave" like a fence post might. But the large surface area of the load plate acts similar to an elevator platform.
You might think a longer auger would make a difference. But it does not and this is because the lifting force of the soil when it freezes will lift anything sitting on it because the load plate is so large.
A longer auger is a good idea if you are building on sandy soil or on sloped terrain or you have severe wind storms in your area and you want even more uplift resistance.
Of course none of this matters to Jim because he resides in sunny Florida. Lucky guy!
The Deck Foot Anchor™ is a DecksGo Recommended Product. It's one that we are confident you will be happy with. It's been tested in some of the harshest cold and sweltering heat temperatures and it has proven to be as tough as nails.
DecksGo was the first company to bring this product to the market, and you can expect more great "first" moments like this.
This is what we do - try to bring you leading edge building solutions before anyone else.