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Thread: Floating deck concept?

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    Default Floating deck concept?

    Hey all,

    has anyone built their deck using the floating deck concept. Basically, you distribute the weight over concrete pier which is all above ground.

    http://www.deckplans.com/

    I'm looking into building a deck this summer and i'm debating whether I should do the traditional concrete piles or the floating deck. Recommendations/comments welcome.

    Thanks.

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    A floating deck will be better due to the fact that u can adjust it easier then the concrete blocks, the concrete blocks will shift over time, and if its floating u can always fix them easier then the big heavy concrete blocks.
    Also a floating deck is better depending on how high your going to make it then u can store items you don't need under it
    Last edited by Moezer; 04-14-2009 at 08:00 AM.

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    Originally posted by Moezer
    A floating deck will be better due to the fact that u can adjust it easier then the concrete blocks, the concrete blocks will shift over time, and if its floating u can always fix them easier then the big heavy concrete blocks.
    Also a floating deck is better depending on how high your going to make it then u can store items you don't need under it
    Do you even know what you're talking about?

    Some advice from someone who has been there....

    Question number one to ask yourself is how secure (i.e. settled) is the ground you are going to put the deck on. frost heave aside, if the house was just built, the back fill from the house is probably still trying to find it's happy resting place, so putting anything on top of it will like end up a few inches lower in a few years. In which case, pour some piles if you must build now.

    Question number 2 - any plans to put in a hot tub or gazebo later on? If so, pour the piles. Alot pf people make the mistake of trying to drop a hot tub onto a deck with standard footing with disastrous results. After all, water weighs a ton.

    Beyond that, it should really just be a matter of personal preference. As long as the base is properly prepared (good base of gravel - 3/4 down works wonderfully), there is nothing wrong with using the pre-cast footings to support your deck. This is what I used, and it is holding up well. I have had to adjust one footing on occasion, but all you do is jack up the section temporarily, and add (or remove) material to the base to get back up (or down I suppose) to height.

    Again, your conditions may vary. Some places have restrictions on the height of the deck that can exist without having piles (and rails). In other areas, the regulations can be pretty relaxed. I tend to over design, planning for a flood, hurricane and apocalypse to hit simultaneously. I've seen some decks that frighten the heck out of me and break so many of the recommend rules, that you expect a stiff wind to knock them over.

    When in doubt, peek at what your neighbors have done. Nine of of ten leading dentists can't be wrong.

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    Originally posted by scat19


    Do you even know what you're talking about?

    yes i do i use to work construction and use to build decks as well built 3 of them any ways ur not on the topic by saying that to me stay on the topic and avoid arguing for the guy who is building the deck i gave my opinion

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    Anyone have any recommendations on someone to pour the piles?

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    my deck is going to be 2 feet high but i'm not sure if the soil has settle yet. I bought the house last Oct, the foundation was done in 06, house completed in 07, previous owner put sod in Aug 08, so i'm not sure if the top soil has settled.

    hey scat19, what thread did you get that post from? There's probably some good info in that thread.

    Andrew, how deep are you going to go with your piles? is frost line 5-6 feet?

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    Dig a hole ~4' deep, put 4x4 in hole. Fill hole with water and cement mix, once dry, cut 4x4 post to proper height. It's not rocket science. Don't fuck around with pouring pilings and trying to attach your posts to those. That's stupid, and unless your deck is 8'+ above finished grade, completely unnecessary.

    IMO, floating decks are typically stupid around here. There's a reason you don't see them in cold climates like this very often. Most places won't let you attache a floating deck to your house (as well they shouldn't). Your foundation walls go down below frost line (4'), so if you have a deck that's not anchored the same way, it's going to raise and fall with the ground through the freeze thaw cycle. Basically, your deck will be moving, and your house won't be, so if you attache them, the deck is always going to be trying to rip itself away from that anchor, and if you don't attach them, it's going to be shifting height relative to your house and constantly walking.

    Floating decks are fine for an unattached, ground level deck. Anything that's going to be attached to another structure, or have stairs, you should be putting proper posts down.

    It's not difficult. Takes about 15 minutes per hole to do the whole thing yourself. Borrow or rent or buy a half decent post hole digger (don't bother with a power one), some PRESSURE TREATED 4x4 posts, and some quick-set premix and you'll have them all in in an afternoon.

    EDIT: Get yourself a good 3'-4' level to level your posts. I'd also suggest attaching your beams, then trimming the excess post afterwards with a reciprocating saw. This will ensure you don't cut a post too short due to finished ground grade.
    Last edited by TKRIS; 04-14-2009 at 01:39 PM.
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    Originally posted by Moezer
    A floating deck will be better due to the fact that u can adjust it easier then the concrete blocks, the concrete blocks will shift over time, and if its floating u can always fix them easier then the big heavy concrete blocks.
    Also a floating deck is better depending on how high your going to make it then u can store items you don't need under it


    bad....bad advice!.....be my guest but you'll be sorry.
    "if you disagree with my views are cannot adequately my criticism then ignore my posts." - Nusc

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    Originally posted by rotten42




    bad....bad advice!.....be my guest but you'll be sorry.
    bad....bad advice! i dont see u giving him any, and it also depends on how well u reinforce it

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    Originally posted by rotten42




    bad....bad advice!.....be my guest but you'll be sorry.
    bad....bad advice! i dont see u giving him any, and it also depends on how well u reinforce it this post is not about how bad my advice is its about someone asking what is better and i gave my opinion

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    did 2 posts XD
    how i delete a post

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    Originally posted by Moezer


    bad....bad advice! i dont see u giving him any, and it also depends on how well u reinforce it this post is not about how bad my advice is its about someone asking what is better and i gave my opinion
    I gave him advice
    Your "opinion" is demonstrably wrong, ill-advised, and makes virtually no sense whatesoever.

    You can post your opinion, but when you don't know shit fuck all about what you're talking about, don't be surprised when people point out how wrong you are.
    You seem to be under the impression that by tacking on a caveat like "well, that's just my opinion" it removes your stupidity from scrutiny and protects you from ridicule. As this thread has shown, it does not.
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    Originally posted by Moezer
    A floating deck will be better due to the fact that u can adjust it easier then the concrete blocks, the concrete blocks will shift over time, and if its floating u can always fix them easier then the big heavy concrete blocks.
    Also a floating deck is better depending on how high your going to make it then u can store items you don't need under it
    Adjust easier than concrete blocks?

    First of all concrete blocks are not typically even involved in wood frame decks. The purpose of building your foundation below frost line is to avoid the need for "adjustment"

    It doesn't matter whether the deck is floating or attached you can still store stuff under it.


    Originally posted by TKRIS
    Dig a hole ~4' deep, put 4x4 in hole. Fill hole with water and cement mix, once dry, cut 4x4 post to proper height. It's not rocket science. Don't fuck around with pouring pilings and trying to attach your posts to those. That's stupid, and unless your deck is 8'+ above finished grade, completely unnecessary.

    IMO, floating decks are typically stupid around here. There's a reason you don't see them in cold climates like this very often. Most places won't let you attache a floating deck to your house (as well they shouldn't). Your foundation walls go down below frost line (4'), so if you have a deck that's not anchored the same way, it's going to raise and fall with the ground through the freeze thaw cycle. Basically, your deck will be moving, and your house won't be, so if you attache them, the deck is always going to be trying to rip itself away from that anchor, and if you don't attach them, it's going to be shifting height relative to your house and constantly walking.

    Floating decks are fine for an unattached, ground level deck. Anything that's going to be attached to another structure, or have stairs, you should be putting proper posts down.

    It's not difficult. Takes about 15 minutes per hole to do the whole thing yourself. Borrow or rent or buy a half decent post hole digger (don't bother with a power one), some PRESSURE TREATED 4x4 posts, and some quick-set premix and you'll have them all in in an afternoon.

    EDIT: Get yourself a good 3'-4' level to level your posts. I'd also suggest attaching your beams, then trimming the excess post afterwards with a reciprocating saw. This will ensure you don't cut a post too short due to finished ground grade.

    I agree, doesn't take much to dig a few holes. Grab a wheelbarrow, a shovel, some premix bagged concrete and your good to go. Even pouring piles are easy.

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    Originally posted by Moezer
    A floating deck will be better due to the fact that u can adjust it easier then the concrete blocks, the concrete blocks will shift over time, and if its floating u can always fix them easier then the big heavy concrete blocks.
    Also a floating deck is better depending on how high your going to make it then u can store items you don't need under it
    terrible way to build a deck. I have build decks and fences for 5 years for a foremen for a large landscaping company. This is the lazy man deck and I would rather have a proper deck built with a couple 8X8's then some crappy cement blocks.. GARBAGE

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    Did one with those shitty blocks with a buddy last year and it has sank a few inches since. Looks like absolute garbage. I didn't like the idea at all, but it was his house and he wanted to do it this way thinking it was only a couple of feet off the ground and should be fine.

    Don't be lazy and cheap. Spend the little bit of extra money and time to do it right.

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    Originally posted by Moezer


    bad....bad advice! i dont see u giving him any, and it also depends on how well u reinforce it this post is not about how bad my advice is its about someone asking what is better and i gave my opinion

    sometimes things are just too stupid to comment on. How long have you lived in Calgary anyway?
    "if you disagree with my views are cannot adequately my criticism then ignore my posts." - Nusc

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    lol, I have no idea about decks but its funny as hell to read you guys destroy his idea hopefully he changes his mind
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    Thanks for the comments guys, i'll probably do the cement post method.

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    Originally posted by rtsen
    Thanks for the comments guys, i'll probably do the cement post method.
    You'll be happier with it.

    Floating decks move. It just happens. And with different ground swell in your yard, you'll get some raised spots and some sunken spots. Even in a relatively small 12 x 15 deck you can get some serious tilt.

    You "may" save a couple hundred by going with floating over fixed piling, but in the end you'll end up having to repair and rebuild your deck - or be unhappy with it's slope.

    My choice would always be pilings to below frost line, durable pressure treated, cedar or man-made decking, and stainless/galvanized fasteners.

    Build it once. Pay for it once. Enjoy it for its lifetime.

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    rtsen , is this a new area ? If it is , just wait till you see a bobcat ( skid steer loader ) in your area and ask if they could drop a few holes for you for some cash . Depending on what area you are in , digging the holes shouldn't be too bad .
    Depending on the size of the deck and how much weight you are going to put on supports , I'd go 4 foot minimum depth , with maybe just a couple of inches of 20mm gravel ( watered and packed ) for a base .
    Also , don't forget to get you're utilities marked out , you know , the call-before you dig guys . They need 3-4 days notice , and will do it for free . Good insurance if something goes wrong , even if you think you know where eveything is .

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