How to build a floating deck over your grass

Written by edward rotchford
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A floating deck is a type of deck that sits on top of the ground. You do not have to dig large holes, pour concrete footings, sink posts or fasten beams. Wooden joists sit directly on concrete piers, with the decking screwed directly to the joists. Using thick 2-by-6 inch treated lumber allows you to need only one type of wood for both the joists and for the decking. The elimination in steps and materials saves both time and money.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • For a 12-by-12 foot deck:
  • Measuring tape
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • 34 boards, 2-by-6 inch treated lumber, 8-feet long
  • (6 for joists, 2 for end boards and 26 for decking boards)
  • 2.72kg., 2.5-inch decking screws
  • 18 concrete deck pier blocks with 2-inch wood slots
  • 1 board, 4-by-4 inch treated lumber, 8-feet long (to elevate joists when necessary)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Concrete deck pier blocks should be set in six rows with three blocks in each row. Rows should be 28.75 inches apart (centre to centre), and the blocks within the row should be 5 feet apart (centre to centre).

  2. 2

    Place one 2-by-6 inch joist in the first and last rows. Each joist should extend 1 foot past the centre of each end of the deck pier block.

  3. 3

    Level the first and last rows. Elevate where necessary with pieces of 4-by-4 inch boards, cut to length. The 4-by-4 inch pieces will fit snugly into the pre-cut slot of the deck pier.

  4. 4

    Complete the square frame by attaching end boards, using two screws on each end.

  5. 5

    Place the remaining joists in deck piers and elevate where necessary. Attach joists to the end boards using two screws on each end.

  6. 6

    Place surface decking boards, perpendicular, on top of the joists and screw down. Use two deck screws at each intersection.

    Trim any overhang.

Tips and warnings

  • Build your deck any shape or size, as long as you remember that joints should be a maximum of 2.5-feet apart, deck pier blocks should be a maximum of 5 feet apart under every single joist and at least two screws should be used per decking piece.
  • If elevating joists using cut pieces of 4-by-4 inch boards, nail joists to them for extra strength.
  • Square or rectangle shaped decks are easiest to build.

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