September 25, 2023
Floating decks can be placed on the ground or, better still, on a gravel bed. However, concrete blocks are the finest way to support the deck. Because the wood is kept off the ground and away from moisture, it remains drier and lasts longer. You can either buy specific deck support blocks or utilize conventional solid concrete blocks, which are less expensive and have a lower profile.
What Is a Floating Deck?
Wood decks that float on the ground and are not attached to any building, including your home, are known as floating decks. They’re also known as freestanding decks, and they’re considerably easier to build than traditional attached decks, and they usually don’t require a building permit as long as they’re not higher than 30 inches over the adjoining level. If the walking surface of the deck is less than 30 inches above the ground, no railing is required.
A floating deck, on the other hand, should be kept as low as possible. Even a fall from a height of 12 inches or less might twist an ankle or result in a more serious injury.
Things Needed – Equipment / Tools
- Tape measure
- Carpenter’s level
- Circular saw
- Drill and drill bits
- Landscape fabric and gravel (optional)
- deck blocks or pier blocks
- Galvanized deck screws
- Galvanized nails
- Fast-drying concrete
- 2×6 pressure-treated boards
Instructions To Follow
- Prepare the Deck Area – Clear the area where the deck will be placed, as needed, by removing grass and other organic material. Rake the ground nice and level, then tamp it down thoroughly with your feet or a hand tamp tool. To prevent weed development under the deck, lay down landscaping fabric over the dirt and add a layer of gravel if necessary.
- Set the Concrete Blocks – Place four concrete blocks in a rectangle such that they are 12 feet apart along the long sides and 10 feet apart along the short sides, measured from the blocks’ centers. A block should be placed between each pair of corner blocks to ensure that they are appropriately spaced. Add one or more blocks to the middle of the rectangle if desired. This can give the deck a more solid feel, but it isn’t required for the internal joists to be supported.
- Draw a line between the interior blocks – Draw a straight line down the short length of the deck, measuring 2 feet from the corners; this is the line for the inner blocks. Between two inner lines, spray another line 2 feet apart. Three horizontal lines are required. Along the lines, dig a 6-inch trench. Then, between your corner blocks, dig a trench.
- Set and Level Interior Blocks – Each trench line should have four inner blocks spaced 2 feet apart. The inside blocks should be level with the corner blocks. Between your horizontal corners, you will have two blocks and three blocks between your vertical corners.
- Continue Setting Outer Blocks – The blocks should be spaced evenly. Use wet concrete mixed in a large wheelbarrow to set them and make sure they’re level, adding or removing concrete as needed. Using a straight piece of board and setting it through the X indentation of each block, and seeing how they line up is a nice way to confirm that all blocks are lined up. Allow time for it to dry. Before moving on to the following step, be sure the concrete has been set.
- Lay the Pressure-Treated Deck Joists – Lay the 2″ x 6″ deck joists on edge within the deck blocks, making sure everything is level. Measure 2 feet apart from each 2×6 to ensure they are evenly placed.
- Start Laying Out the Synthetic Deck Boards – Place one board in the center of the deck, ensuring that it hangs evenly from both ends. Since the deck boards are designed to be spaced apart, use a little nail as a spacing guide at each junction. Because the thread will pull the screw-down, don’t use a lot of force. So, the screws don’t stand up. Hammer them down a little. On each plank, repeat the process. This procedure should be completed shortly.