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How to Build A Ground-level Deck?

Monday, December 04, 2023

Do you want to be able to have people over for a party outdoors? Or relax on your deck while having a cup of coffee? Then you may want to consider building a deck on the ground.

What Is a Ground-level Deck?

Ground-level decks are decks that are close to the ground. They are also known as floating decks or platform decks. Decks are easier to build when they are less than 30 inches off the ground. Here are two reasons why ground-level decks are easier to build:

  1. Ground-level decks are low enough that pedestrians are almost never injured because of their height. Therefore they do not require the installation of fences or ladders.
  2. They may not require permits. Generally speaking, decks that are not attached to a house, are less than 200 square feet in size or are less than 30 inches in height do not require a permit. But just to be sure, call the builder’s office in your area to make sure you’re not violating any of the rules here.

Advantages of Ground-level Decks

Easier to build, ground-level decks cost less than raised decks. Deck railings and stairs are the two most expensive parts of a deck. Since a ground-level deck does not require deck railings and stairs to be built, it costs less to build this type of deck than an elevated deck. A ground-level deck can cost more than $4,000, depending on its size and materials.

In order for you to enjoy the great outdoors, ground-level decks provide you with a number of spaces. These outdoor spaces provide you with a wonderful place to set up chairs, potted plants, and even a grill for your guests to enjoy.

However, there are a few things you should know before you start building your own ground-level deck. The key to success in any do-it-yourself endeavor is to plan ahead. There are many different styles of above-ground decks, such as those that require a foundation and those that are attached to the house. However, if this is your first do-it-yourself furniture project, we’ll make things easy.

How to Build a Ground-Level Deck Step-by-Step

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to build a deck that is not attached to the house and has a simple base. If you follow this guide, you’ll be using your own ground-level deck in no time.

What makes a ground-level deck beautiful is that it is very simple. You can build the deck in a nice spot in your yard and enjoy the view. You can also add bricks to the back of your house if you want the deck to look more sophisticated and classy. You can make choices based on your preferences and what you want your garden to look like.

Step 1: Create a Plan and Design

Imagine how you will use the deck and look at the ground level. Then work out where the ground-level deck will be installed. Because the deck is not attached to the house, the door will not be in the way.

However, you will need to consider drainage underneath the deck and whether you should add a slope to the deck. Will the ground be raised to allow water to run off of it? Making sure the deck has good air circulation will help extend the life of the deck.


Step 2: Choose Deck Material

If your ground-level deck is low, you’ll need to consider what kind of wood or composite material to use for the framing. If the bottom of the deck framing is less than 6 inches above the ground or partially buried, you should use this pressure-treated lumber. This type of wood is much more protective against rot.

Step 3: Consider Ground Level Deck Ventilation

The ground beneath the platform deck can be wet. If the ground-level deck is wet for a long period of time, it can lead to mold and rot. Make sure the deck is built high enough to allow air to circulate and keep the ground dry. The deck will last longer this way.

In most cases, if the deck is less than 12 inches off the ground, the edges of the deck must be open so that air can flow under the deck.

Step 4: Create a Base and Leveling Plan

A simple base can be created by laying concrete blocks on both sides of the deck. You can also place the building on gravel to help the water flow away. Next, you will drive stakes into the ground and use them to draw a level line around the perimeter of the deck. Once you’re sure the outline of the deck is level, you’re ready for the next step.


Step 5: Install the Beams

As we’ve already mentioned, before placing the deck beams on top of the concrete blocks, make sure the beams are high enough to allow for air circulation. These beams will be the frame of the deck on the ground. Next, measure the width of the crossbeams and tap them to align them.

It is a good idea to use temporary stretchers to hold the crossbeams in place. These are short-term wooden frames that hold the crossbeams in place. If needed, pressure-treated shims can be placed underneath the crossbeams to keep them level. You may need to add more gravel in order to level the ground.

Step 6: Attach Anchors and Joists

After making sure the crossbeams are level, place angle brackets on the corners of the deck where the joists and crossbeams meet. This will help further support the corners of the ground-level deck. Again use a level to check the level of the deck and surroundings.

Step 7: Connecting Interior Joists

Use joist clips to secure the joists to the beams at regular intervals. Make sure to follow the spacing instructions that came with the boards. This will make the deck more stable and help you understand how the planks will be installed. If you want to add steps, you should consider the location of the steps.


Step 8: Laying the Deck Boards

The ground-level deck is finally starting to take shape and look like the structure you have in mind. Align the first board with the outer edge so that it is level. Then, lay the deck boards so they intersect the joists straight and make sure they are securely in place. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on clearances and make sure the boards are spaced correctly so that there is good ventilation between them.

Step 9: Trim the Edges

After laying the deck boards, use a circular saw to cut away any excess material. This will make the deck neat and level. Pick up the remaining pieces of wood. Now you’re ready to see your new deck from the ground up.

Step 10: Add Stairs or Steps

If you want to add steps or stairs to your deck, then you need to decide on the number of steps and how they will be built. Some deck builders add foundations to the ground or hang stringers from the deck. Metal angle clamps or 2x4s can be used to attach stringers to the deck joists.

Now that all the hard work is done, you can enjoy your brand-new deck. Grab a chair, a friend, a grill, and a drink, and take a well-deserved break.

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