In this series, Chip Wade shows you how to build a deck from the ground up.
A free standing deck is a self supporting deck structure built independently from a house wall ledger board attachment. Some free standing decks stand alone in an open area. Above ground pool decks are often built free standing in this fashion.
Place the batter boards beyond the corners of your planned area. Tie strings to them marking the outer edges of your deck. Next to the house, drive stakes as close to the house as possible and tie strings to them.
Contact the building inspector for your area. They will know whether the whole area around your house was dug and backfilled, or whether the ground is undisturbed. They will also know what is under the dirt and how far down you need to go.
Some homes and, as in this photo, some existing decks simply can’t support a ledger for a new deck addition. Freestanding-Deck Concerns. Though you don’t have to worry about proper ledger attachment and flashing when you build a freestanding deck, you do have to figure out how it will support itself without the help of a big, strong house. Forever.
Just what is a “freestanding” deck? Some freestanding decks are obvious – they are standing alone in the yard. But many freestanding decks do not stand alone but are indeed right next to a house.
Instead, use shims to create a flat surface. When setting your ledger you need to consider your decking material height/thickness. If you desire your deck to be level with an adjacent floor, your deck should be directly below the door jam of that room when finished.
After you demolish the old deck but before you start work on the new one, you'll need to make sure the wood on and in the house is still in good shape. Water leaking around an old deck ledger can cause significant damage to the house framing.
We asked This Old House general contractor Tom Silva to demonstrate the proper techniques for building a small, simple on-grade deck. All you need to be successful at DIY deck building are some basic carpentry tools and the desire to invest a little sweat equity.
Water leaking around an old deck ledger can cause significant damage to the house framing. The existing house rim and the lower support walls need to be solid enough to support the multi-ton weight of a deck filled with people. After the old deck is removed, you'll be able to tell if you can still use the house rim.
Building a Deck Tips for How to Build a Deck. ... Give construction screws a try on your next deck. You can drive them with any 18-volt screw gun without predrilling—they don’t split wood. The price may shock you (they cost four times as much), but you’ll never go back to lags. ... Attaching a New Deck to a House: The Correct Method.
A floating deck, or freestanding deck, can add visual appeal to your backyard as well as increasing the space available for outdoor dining, entertaining or just relaxing outside. Caitlin Ketcham of the blog Desert Domicile included a beautiful floating deck in her amazing total backyard makeover, part of our Patio Style Challenge. Caitlin handled the backyard design, and The helped with the bigger projects, including this floating deck.
How to Build a Deck. Three Methods: Planning Your Deck Preparing the House Building Your Deck Community Q&A. Building a deck can add to the monetary value of your home as well as to your enjoyment of it, whether you host parties or sample the beauty of nature from it.
You may need to build a free standing deck if you can''t attach a ledger board to the house. Learn how to build a self supporting deck. ... Some free standing decks stand alone in an open area. Above ground pool decks are often built free standing in this fashion. ... These decks can be built free standing using an additional beam and posts ...
A freestanding deck, built on posts so that a 1-inch gap separates it from the house, allows water to drain with no damage to the house. However, the posts need cross-bracing to keep the deck from wobbling.
While there are work-arounds you can employ to mount a deck ledger to a house with a challenging situation, it may not be worth the effort. In these cases, I often opt for a free-standing deck, which can be simpler to build and more cost-efficient when compared to the cost to cure a challenging ledger situation.