Yes, you can lay decking on uneven ground. First, you may need to create a level and stable surface using concrete or compacted soil before beginning to lay your decking. Additionally, it may be necessary to use flexible, adjustable decking supports to allow for the various levels and angles present in the ground.
Be sure to use additional supports and beams to provide extra support and stability. Additionally, you should also use galvanized properly treated wooden boards and screws to ensure your deck will stand up to the elements and last for many years.
With the right preparation, tools, and materials you can successfully build a deck on uneven ground.
Does decking have to be level?
Yes, decking should generally be level, both externally and internally. External levels help provide a good surface to walk on, while internal levels ensure a uniform and stable base. A deck should have a slight slope of 1/8- 1/4 inch per lineal foot to ensure water runoff and prevent wood rot.
When building a deck, the surface should be inspected regularly to make sure that it is level. Joist and beam supports should also be checked to ensure they are level and plumb as any inconsistencies can lead to sagging or warping in the decking material.
For maximum drainage, the frame should be sloped away from the house. Overall, since decking should be a safe and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space, making sure it is level from both the top and bottom is essential.
How do you level ground for decking?
The best way to level ground for decking or other back yard projects is to use a process called grading or sloping. This requires digging trenches around the area that you wish to make level, as well as adding soil in low areas and removing soil in higher areas.
It is important to make sure the ground is level within each 2 foot diameter area, with a 2-4 degree slope away from the house or other structure. If you find that the ground naturally slopes away from the house or other structure, it should be maintained or improved so that it slopes no more the 2-4 degrees.
Before you begin, it is important to check town and city codes as to what you are allowed to do, as well as measure out the exact dimensions of your project.
When starting on the project, use a shovel to dig trenches around the perimeter of the area, making sure that the trenches are level and that you bring the edges down as low as possible. This will ensure that your deck or other project has a level surface.
Next, fill in the trenches with soil. Check that the soil is level by laying a two-foot wide plank of wood or a carpenter’s level over the area. This will help you to assess how level or not the soil is and allow you to make adjustments.
Most of the time, it is best to use topsoil since it compacts easily and adds nutrients to the soil; however, you can use sand if it is more appropriate for the project. Once the soil is laid, use the back of a rake to level it out accordingly.
Most decks should have a 2-4 degree slope away from the house or building to ensure that any water runs away from the structure. If the ground naturally slopes away from the house as it is, you can take measurements to be sure that the slope does not go beyond the 2-4 degree level.
If it does, you can use soil to make the necessary adjustments.
At this point, it is important to tamp or compact the soil. You can use a hand tamper or a mechanical tamper to do this, making sure to cover the whole area you wish to make level. Once the soil has been compacted, you can begin the task of laying down landscaping fabric and gravel, before laying the deck, patio, or other projects you wish to create.
Following these steps will ensure that the ground you are working with is level and safe.
Can you build a deck without putting posts in the ground?
Yes, you can definitely build a deck without putting posts in the ground. There are a couple of different design options to accomplish this that work best for different types of homes and landscapes.
You could build a floating deck, which is made by simply setting the deck on blocks that are placed directly on the ground for support. Another option is a freestanding deck, which is most often made from wood or composite and does not have any posts or footers placed in the ground for support.
These types of decks will typically require extra support from beams or knee walls to provide additional stability. With either of these types of decks, you should check with your local building codes to ensure that it is up to code.
Can a deck be built without footings?
Yes, a deck can be built without footings. An alternative is to use deck blocks, which are pre-made concrete forms that can be used in place of footings for lighter-duty decks. These blocks must be set directly on the soil or sand base and come with built-in connection points so you can easily attach the support posts.
It should be noted that while deck blocks are an option, they are best suited for low-load decks and sheds that aren’t going to house large amounts of people or weight. Ultimately, to guarantee the structural integrity and safety of your deck, it is best to utilize the traditional footing method.
If budget permits, installers can use Deck Foot Anchors, which are a combination of footings and anchors, instead of conventional concrete for their deck job.
Can I use concrete deck blocks instead of footings?
Yes, concrete deck blocks can be used instead of footings in certain cases. Deck blocks are pre-formed concrete blocks that serve as footings for decks and other structures. They are much easier and faster to install than footings and can provide adequate structural support when used with appropriate deck framing.
Generally, they are used with lighter decks and structures that don’t need a lot of load bearing capacity. Because they are concrete and don’t require digging into the ground, they can also be easier to use in areas with rocky or clay soil where it can be difficult to dig a footer.
However, it is important to make sure that deck blocks are installed properly in order to provide adequate stability for your deck. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the blocks are rated for your soil type and accept the load of the deck.
Do I need footings for a ground level deck?
No, you do not need footings for a ground level deck. Ground level decks are typically built with posts that are set directly into the ground, or it can be built on a pre-existing surface such as concrete or asphalt.
If the deck is not attached to the house, additional supports may be necessary based on the design of the deck. Most local building requirements may specify deck size and support requirements that must be met, so it is important to check with local codes before beginning your project.
For decks that are higher or are built adjacent to the house, footings are usually necessary for stability. Footings are typically installed below the frost line and secured with concrete. Some local building codes may require a complete permit and inspections before building a deck, so it is important to familiarize yourself with proper safety codes before beginning your project.