Clear The Deck!!! - On the House

Clear The Deck!!!

By on March 5, 2014
stone deck

Question

Hi Bros. I have a friend who wants to build a 16′ x 16′ deck off of the back of the house.

Now she doesn’t want to attach it to the house, because there is only 7 1/2 inches from ground level to the bottom of the door threshold. So, I guess the question is can you set green treated frame on the ground or do you need to put some kind of footing down or use concrete piers? I imagine for this size of deck, you would probably need about sixteen blocks or piers.

Jack

Answer

Please tell your friend that a wood deck should clear the ground by at least 12-inches. Yes, treated lumber can be used in contact with dirt, but this would be planned obsolescence. In your friend’s case it would probably be most wise to use concrete or stone instead. This would eliminate the high risk of rot and structural pest infestation associated with wood on grade. Also, it is always wise for the top of the deck to be a few inches lower than the interior floor. This helps to prevent water from flooding  and then damaging  interior floors. Especially during heavy winter rains and on those occasions when the deck is being washed down. 7 1/2″ minus a few inches of step-down leaves less than 4 1/2″ of thickness for the wood deck. Not enough thickness for a sturdy platform let alone concrete piers. And that’s all there is to it!

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