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What Is A Floating Deck?

Friday, January 26, 2024

Should I build a floating deck? People who own homes are right to ask this question! A deck attached to a home is different from a floating deck. Floating decks are usually larger than custom decks and do not have footers like other deck designs.

Then, people can consider the pros and cons of floating decks. Then, they can choose if it is right for their yard. You can also discuss these topics with a deck contractor or professional near you.

What Is a Floating Deck?

This type of deck is not attached to any building or structure. It is also known as a ground-level deck or a freestanding deck. Floating decks are connected to the ground, but this deck is built on top of the ground and does not need to be connected to the ground.

Therefore, it is not attached to the base of a house or other building, nor is it supported by concrete piers buried in the ground.

Instead, it is supported by deck blocks. Deck blocks are pre-formed concrete blocks that are placed in the ground to bear the weight of the deck. Homeowners like floating decks because they are easy to assemble and can be placed anywhere on the land, regardless of ground conditions. They are versatile and can be used on their own or as an addition to an outdoor patio or place.

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Is a Floating Deck a Good Idea?

Advantages of Floating Decks

Floating decks have many advantages, for example:

  • Since a floating deck table is not attached to anything, there is less chance of damage to the house.
  • Floating decks are usually cheaper than other types of decks because they don’t require much construction. Builders also don’t need concrete mixes and other things to build floating decks.
  • Floating decks take less time to install, so you can start using the deck sooner than if you choose another design.
  • Those who install a deck with concrete piers run the risk of running into underground pipes or other utilities. Floating decks, on the other hand, avoid this risk.
  • Builders don’t always need a license to construct a floating deck. This is because, as mentioned earlier, they are not attached to a building and do not have underground concrete piers.
  • It is often easier to build a floating deck on uneven or sloping ground.
  • Floating decks are great for people who have trouble taking stairs because they are so close to the ground.
  • Most floating decks can also be relocated by the homeowner! Floating decks are usually easy to remove and relocate. This is because it is not attached to the house and there are no hidden piers.
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Disadvantages of Floating Decks

  • Floating decks are inexpensive to build and give you a place to relax and entertain, but they do have some problems. First, in severe stormy weather, floating decks are likely to break away from their supports.
  • The deck can also sink or sag in places if the ground shifts. For the most part, though, this problem can be solved by moving the dirt underneath the deck. If there is no concrete pad underneath the floating deck, weeds can also grow underneath. Laying gravel and weed sheeting over the deck will solve this problem.
  • Last but not least, keep in mind that a floating deck may not give you as much return as an attached deck. Some people looking to buy a house may prefer a deck attached to the house to a floating deck. However, a floating deck will still increase the value of your home.

How Floating Decks Work

Does a Floating Deck Need a Foundation?

The answer to this one is pretty much certain, floating decks don’t need a foundation. Instead, builders often use different types of concrete deck blocks instead of foundations. These deck blocks look like large Legos with notches on the surface.

When deck contractors build floating decks, they usually level the ground and then install a weed barrier. After that, they may add gravel to prevent the ground soil from shifting. Finally, contractors push deck blocks into the ground to secure them.

Then, they wedge deck boards into these notches. Once they have installed these foundation decks, they can then attach the deck and other components to finalize the floating deck installation. None of this requires the use of concrete foundations or other components.

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Do Floating Decks Move?

Floating decks use heavy-duty deck blocks that are usually fixed in place. They also have slots deep enough to hold the deck boards in place. On the other hand, floating decks are usually safe and secure even if no footings are built. They are unlikely to move or leave you in any other way.

That said, floating decks can still be removed and relocated if needed. This is because they are not secured to the house or placed underground. However, if they are installed correctly and the floating deck is constructed by a professional, they should be safe.

How Much Weight Can a Floating Deck Hold?

In most cases, floating decks can hold up to 50 pounds per square foot. Then, with some simple math, you can find out how much weight your deck can hold. To calculate the square footage of your deck, you multiply the length by the width.

Let’s say the deck is 10 feet long and 15 feet wide. To calculate the square footage, multiply 10 by 15. After that, your floating deck is 150 square feet.

Then, multiply that number by 50 to find out how many pounds your deck can hold. For a 150-square-foot deck, this means that 150 times 50 equals 7,500, which means that your 10×15 floating deck should be able to hold 7,500 pounds.

Keep in mind, though, that these are just general rules that apply to a well-built deck! If the deck’s planks are old, have insufficient wood blocks, or have other inferior components, the deck’s weight-bearing capacity will be diminished. Also, keep in mind that the middle portion of the deck is the weakest point, as it is where the most weight is carried.

Do not add a hot tub, fire pit, or any other heavy object to your deck unless it is safe to do so. If necessary, add more blocks to support these deck boards. Also, keep in mind that the PSF weight you calculate is the total weight the deck can support, not the weight it can support in one spot!

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How Do I Build a Floating Deck?

The best way to build a floating deck is to hire a professional! A trained and experienced worker will ensure a strong and long-lasting installation.

But if you want to do it yourself, here are some step-by-step instructions for you:

  1. First, determine if you need to remove some surface soil to build the deck to the height you want. If you need to, call your city’s building department. They can look for hidden pipes and other features and mark them. This will prevent you from hurting yourself or damaging things while digging!
  2. Make sure the area where the floating deck is located is clear. As mentioned earlier, this means digging to lower the soil. If you don’t want to dig a hole for the deck, remove grass, weeds, rocks, and other debris.
  3. Spread out the dirt and tamp it down so that it is level. If you don’t have a shovel, tamp the ground with your foot or the back of a spade.
  4. Set up a weed barrier. If you wish, you can put gravel on top. Follow these simple steps to prevent weeds and other plants from growing on the ground below the deck.
  5. Make sure the middle of each deck block is no more than 10 feet from the next deck block. Make sure that the corner blocks form a square. Also, if you plan to add heavy items to the deck (such as a fire pit), add more deck blocks as you go.
  6. Place a deck board on top of the blocks to make sure they are level. Replace or adjust any blocks if needed.
  7. Deck boards should be cut to size (usually 10 feet long) into pre-finished 2×8 boards. Additional planks can then be cut and drilled for the exterior framing.
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How High Off the Ground Should a Floating Deck Be?

The height of the floating deck should be determined by the homeowner. For safety reasons, keep in mind that most structures higher than 30 inches require a permit. In addition, in many places, stairs and fencing must be added to a deck this high for safety reasons.

You should also consider safety and ease of use when planning the height of your floating deck. The higher the deck, the more difficult it will be to reach! If you plan to move your furniture on the deck frequently, place it lower to the ground. A lower deck also reduces the likelihood of injury from falling off the deck.

That said, some homeowners may prefer a higher floating deck. This allows them to have a better view of their yard. Higher decks also attract more attention and change the appearance of the lawn. The higher the height of the deck, the less chance of water damage occurring, and the air will circulate more under the deck.

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How Do I Build a Floating Deck on My Lawn?

You can build a floating deck on your lawn as long as you protect the wood from water damage. One way is to lay down a landscape fabric or weed barrier and then cover it with gravel. Two, you can lay flat patio tiles or bricks along the edge of the space where the floating deck will be located. Third, choose a decking material that has excellent waterproofing properties, such as composite decking and PVC decking.

If you know how and are on a budget, you can also build a concrete pad for your floating deck. A concrete pad protects the deck from water damage and also provides a level laying area for the floating deck. However, be sure to check with your city’s building department before pouring the concrete. Some places will tell you the thickness of the pad and other information before the pad is laid.

Do I Need Gravel Under My Floating Deck?

The short answer is no, you don’t necessarily need gravel under a floating deck. However, there are a number of good reasons to consider putting down gravel before building a floating deck. As mentioned earlier, gravel helps prevent grass and weeds from growing under the deck. Secondly, it can help level uneven or sloping ground so the floating deck doesn’t start to sink.

Also, keep in mind that gravel can be easily adjusted if you notice that the deck pieces are not aligned properly. Simply take away a few handfuls of gravel to pad the deck blocks lower. Of course, you can also add gravel to raise the blocks higher. This makes building a floating deck much easier than putting the deck directly on the ground.

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Freestanding Decks vs Floating Decks

For the most part, freestanding decks and floating decks are the same thing! Floating decks are called “freestanding” because they are not attached to the house. Also, they do not have a concrete base but instead sit on concrete blocks. This allows them to “float” independently of the ground.

Keep in mind, though, that some people may refer to a deck that is attached to a concrete base as “floating” or “freestanding.” Some people may confuse an elevated deck with a floating deck. Therefore, if you are going to pay someone to build a deck, be sure to go over all the details with them.

Will a Floating Deck Increase the Value of My Home?

Most people agree that adding a deck is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. People looking to buy a house love projects that make the living room bigger. An outdoor deck is also a safe place to gather with friends and family. Additionally, a deck is a better way to decorate your home and patio.

In fact, the value of your home may increase by about 65% of the cost of deck construction. This means that for every $1,000 you spend on your outdoor deck, your home may increase in value by $650. And, you’ll always have a nice deck for as long as you own your home.

So, if you want to add a deck to your home to increase its value, you should talk to a property inspector first. They can tell you, based on their knowledge, what kind of deck buyers in your area might expect. They can also help you choose the best deck material and size to get the most out of your money.

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