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Posted: 6/23/2003 8:02:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 1:51:13 PM EDT by Yojimbo]
The ground on my lot is [b]HARD[/b]! I went through hell digging out the fence posts when I fenced my backyard two years ago. Even the Bobcat I ended renting had some problems at times. I don't really mind the hard clay soil because my house has been rock solid since it was built in 2000. There was almost no settling and we've had no issues growing grass, etc. except when trying to dig! My wife and I were initially thinking of a brick patio but after watching what the neighbors are going through to build their patio we're looking at other options. After some looking I noticed the deck blocks at Lowes and it looks like it may be the ticket. Were looking at 16'x20' deck that will be about 24 inches high. It also appears that the deck blocks may acutally be stronger than a normal deck with concrete footers because of the way it distributes the weight accross many blocks. I also like the fact that it will be not attached to the house. After fighting the hard soil on our property I figured I may as well let it work for me. It would definitely make the whole job a lot easier. Anyway's I just wanted to check and see if any of you guys have used this product and what your thoughts on it were.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:22:18 AM EDT
What are you calling a "Deck Block"?? I used concrete pads, and 4x4 posts...
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:26:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 8:32:18 AM EDT by Ross]
Yes, it works fine. If your ground is that hard, you shouldn't have any problems. Just getting everything level was the hardest part, and that was a simple job. After that, you just build your deck. I built one with my brother at his place. His ground was so hard, weeds wouldn't grow. It was a snap. The blocks are the way to go. Ross
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:31:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By liberty86: What are you calling a "Deck Block"?? I used concrete pads, and 4x4 posts...
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They sell these concrete blocks that are notched for lumber on the top. You just lay the blocks down on the ground, put your lumber in the slots, line everything up/level it up, then just build your deck over it. You put a block every couple feet (forgot how many, just ask the guy at Lowe's) and basically the deck itself acts as a bridge between blocks. It won't work well unless the ground is hard. It also costs a little more than pouring, but not much. It does save alot of work/time. Ross
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:49:57 AM EDT
GO WITH THE BLOCKS, ITS A SNAP AND WORKS WELL. GETTING THEM LEVEL WILL BE FUN
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 9:01:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 9:03:31 AM EDT by Yojimbo]
liberty86, Here's what I'm talking about. [img]http://www.deckplans.com/images/blockspec_size.gif[/img] [img]http://www.deckplans.com/images/blockspec_4x4.gif[/img] There's also lots of good info on their web site. [url]www.deckplans.com[/url]
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 9:03:16 AM EDT
If you're referring to the little pyramid shaped things with the notches in the top, then go for it, they're pretty easy to use. They should have little fliers at Lowes on how to use them, so it takes the guesswork and design factor out of it. Is the area you want to use flat? If it's not, personally I'd set 4x4's in the notch in the center of the block, and trim those off to make them level. Another option would be to put say 3' sections of 4x4 sticking up from the block, nail your stringer on level, and then cut the 4x4 flush with the top of the stringer. Lots of options, if you decide to use them and need more help let us know. Hell, if you lived near me I'd offer to come over and help. I like to do shit like that and will work for beer. If Steyraug ever gets the tent off his house I'm supposed to help him build a "porch" too.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 9:05:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 9:08:37 AM EDT by Yojimbo]
Thanks everyone! Sounds like this product has the AR15.com seal of approval![:D] When I build my deck I'll definitely need to use some 4x4 since it will be about 24 inches high. It sounds like the leveling will be the hardest part but it doesn't look too hard to do. Hell, I'll just use the old "Measure once and cut twice!" method![;)]
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 9:06:28 AM EDT
Our local, militant building inspector will not permit them. He wants all deck posts dug and poured.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 10:18:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover: Our local, militant building inspector will not permit them. He wants all deck posts dug and poured.
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Good point. They have no uplift resistance, and in a tornado/hurricane could result in the deck becoming projectiles. If you have to get the deck signed off, make sure that you comply with the local codes. I would not buy a house with any additions/modifications that don't have an accompanying permit, so it might limit your house's resale value.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 11:07:02 AM EDT
Why not pour a patio using concrete then? Cheaper, will never rot. No digging.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 11:14:46 AM EDT
a bobcat/auger will drill thru your dirt...trust me. go with a 9" auger and sink 'em 42" deep. put a bag of sakcrete in the hole and tamp it with your post. square up anp backfill. feeling like manly man? go to farm & fleet and buy a shale bar. it will make using a hand post-hole digger much easier.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 11:21:37 AM EDT
Oh... I though form the title that you were talking about building a skateboard deck... I guess i have nothing to contribute
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 12:04:35 PM EDT
Heh. Decks... I live on bedrock. It's 4" to 24" deep in various parts of my yard. Add to that I live on a hill, and the yard is terraced. And I have a max height from ground (to the top of the decking) of 12". There's sub floor access to be built around. And it's 12' wide, and 28 feet long. And the rear water outlet will have to be moved. Plus, to make it more fun, the rock slopes into the lowest point...right behind the back door. It makes a nice lake out the back during the rainy months...a lovely mosquito breeding ground [:(]. So I'll have to jackhammer a path out in the rock no matter how I go. Quotes have ranged from $7000 to $10000 using composite boards. And two of the quoters have looked at it and said "What happened to the old deck?" Of course, the previous folks decided to skimp and didn't put one in.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 12:38:02 PM EDT
As someone who has mixed two tons of cement by hand in the past couple of months, I have to say that those deck blocks look very inviting. Good luck with the deck, and I hope you do better at it than my neighbor. I put in the posts for him in exchange for help with my roof, and he's still not finished even though he's worked full-time on it for three weeks. It's only 10' x 20'!z
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 1:20:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By zoom: As someone who has mixed two tons of cement
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Concrete. Saying cement is like saying "clip".
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 3:53:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 3:54:10 PM EDT by Yojimbo]
Originally Posted By norman74:
Originally Posted By BenDover: Our local, militant building inspector will not permit them. He wants all deck posts dug and poured.
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Good point. They have no uplift resistance, and in a tornado/hurricane could result in the deck becoming projectiles. If you have to get the deck signed off, make sure that you comply with the local codes. I would not buy a house with any additions/modifications that don't have an accompanying permit, so it might limit your house's resale value.
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What about all the big gazeebos, tool sheds and wooden kids playgrounds I see all around the neighborhood? Won't they be turned into projectiles if a tornado hits? I'm not worried about loosing any value on my property. If it becomes an issue when I try to sell my house all I need is one hour with my circular saw! [;)] In my eyes that's the beauty ot these deck blocks, I can cut the deck up in to smaller sections and get it out of there if I ever need to![:D]
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 4:05:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 4:08:01 PM EDT by Mechandy]
BenDover and Norman74 have a valid points. If you want to do it right spend the extra half day or day or so and aug it out then pour and apply "Simpsons". The posts should be above the concrete if the proper strong tie is used.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 4:29:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 4:31:18 PM EDT by Yojimbo]
Originally Posted By Mechandy: BenDover and Norman74 have a valid points. If you want to do it right spend the extra half day or day or so and aug it out then pour and apply "Simpsons". The posts should be above the concrete if the proper strong tie is used.
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I'm not trying to be a smart ass but why is it considered the "Right Way" to do it old fashined way? I'm genuinely curious and I'd like to know a technical reason why one way is superior to another? Have there been known issues with deck block constructed decks? I don't have tornadoes coming through the area of Ohio I live so I don't really buy that excuse. I think if a tornado hits close enough to suck a 16'x20' deck away we'll have some bigger issues to worry about![;)] I'm not set 100% on how I'm going to do this deck but I really want to see some factual data before I decide.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 2:36:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Yojimbo:
Originally Posted By Mechandy: BenDover and Norman74 have a valid points. If you want to do it right spend the extra half day or day or so and aug it out then pour and apply "Simpsons". The posts should be above the concrete if the proper strong tie is used.
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I'm not trying to be a smart ass but why is it considered the "Right Way" to do it old fashined way? I'm genuinely curious and I'd like to know a technical reason why one way is superior to another? Have there been known issues with deck block constructed decks? I don't have tornadoes coming through the area of Ohio I live so I don't really buy that excuse. I think if a tornado hits close enough to suck a 16'x20' deck away we'll have some bigger issues to worry about![;)] I'm not set 100% on how I'm going to do this deck but I really want to see some factual data before I decide.
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Check your local building codes. Besides doing things the "right way", if you don't comply you can wind up being fined or having to tear down theh work you do. If you've never tangled with a pissed off building official, then you won't understand. However, if you proceed without checking on the local codes & permits, I will almost guarantee that you'll be posting a "local building official is making me tear out my deck" later on. Where I live, those gazeebos WOULD be required to be tied down. Same thing with tool sheds.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 4:16:13 AM EDT
I am currently in process of building a deck. I am setting post and pouring concrete for a 24 x 10, two tiered, covered, free standing deck next to my house. But in front of this I am putting a 14' octagon shaped, ground level deck on DEK Blocks. Like other have said getting all the blocks level is the hard part. Good luck on your project.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 4:26:06 AM EDT
Ditto what norman74 said about tangling with the crabby-assed building inspector. I've gone round with mine a lot lately with the rehab project the wife and I are doing and it's a time-consuming headache. HOWEVER, he is a genuine guy who is simply trying to do his job to protect me, my neighbors, and any future residents of the property from damage and loss from faulty construction. While he's been a pain in the complete ass, he's also offered a lot of advice and good ideas for our project. Other municipalities may not be so lucky. There is another factor to my motivation to play by the rules which is P&C insurance. My wife is our insurance agent and she's got horror stories about policies being cancelled and claims being denied from damage to additions, decks, sheds, etc., that were built without a permit. I would hate to have damage to a laborious, expensive project be destroyed, only to get a letter from the underwriter asking me for copies of the permits. Every community is different, with varying building and zoning codes. In the long run, it's worth the trouble to just call and ask your local building department what the regs and permitting requirements would be for your project. As sucky as it can be to deal with they exist for reasons that we don't appreciate until there's a bigger problem.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 6:12:58 AM EDT
Thanks for the advice guys! I will definitely look into the building codes and talk to the inspectors to get all the details before starting anything. On thing I noticed, as I've talked to people around here it seems that no one really has a clue! I discussed this with a building inspector who was working on a new build and he said it would depend on the deck plan and some other factors. Another person I talked to at the Dept of Development said yes and then someone else my wife talked at a differnt time said no!!! It almost sounds like a lot depends on who the actual inspector is and how they're feeling at it at the time.[rolleyes]
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 6:46:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Yojimbo: It almost sounds like a lot depends on who the actual inspector is and how they're feeling at it at the time.[rolleyes]
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Welcome to the world of construction. The job I'm on (a $35 mil school project) is all but shut down currently due to the entire job getting re-inspected after we had passed inspections.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 9:02:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2003 9:04:45 AM EDT by nightstalker]
My contractor went down to get a permit to re-asphalt our driveway and approach. It's an old farm house and had a large driveway entrance, so large that it was now out of code and the city would have forced us to redo it. They were so vague about what would be OK that we asphalted all but the approach as flat work is not subject to permits. We've also offered to dedicate the land for a sidewalk but they think people walking in the street on a major city artery is no big deal. So far we have put in the asphalt, a new garage floor, wallboarded and modernized the electrical in the garage and laundryroom, added a bathroom, put in new double pane windows, remodeled the kitchen, installed a new HVAC system and several other smaller projects WITHOUT ONE PERMIT. Ours is an unusual situation though as, if we ever sell the property there is no doubt the house will be bull dozed and the property developed. This makes sense for us but would not for others. Still it's hard to believe that not one inspector has stopped by considering we have had all the trade vehicles parked on site from time to time.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 9:19:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Yojimbo: I don't have tornadoes coming through the area of Ohio I live so I don't really buy that excuse. I think if a tornado hits close enough to suck a 16'x20' deck away we'll have some bigger issues to worry about![;)] I'm not set 100% on how I'm going to do this deck but I really want to see some factual data before I decide.
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That's the same size, I just built. I used pier pads, similar to what you pictured. Use pressure treated wood, it's cheaper, and SCREW the decking with COATED "deck screws". I'll take a couple of photos, and post 'em later, if you want. Let me know.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 9:40:17 AM EDT
Had one on my computer, it's 20' wide, and 16' out from the house, The driveway is circular, and I'll put a car port to the right of the deck to protect from rain while unloading. Lemee know if you want any details. Around here, if you don't tie the deck to the house, you don't need permits. [img]http://photos.ar15.com/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?iImageUnq=14067[/img]
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