How to Build a Floating Deck？
A floating deck is one of the common types of outdoor decks. Floating decks are easy to build and can be built and extended more freely. And you have the freedom to choose where to install it without having to attach it to the exterior of your house. Today, let’s learn how to build a floating deck.
Table of Contents
What is a floating deck?
Floating decks are wooden decks that are constructed on the ground and are not attached to any structure, including your home. They are also referred to as freestanding decks and are more straightforward to construct than attached decks. As long as they do not exceed 30 inches above the adjacent ground, they do not require a building permit.
Creating a floating deck is a relatively straightforward process. It is self-supporting and can be placed directly on the ground. Alternatively, it can be placed on a bed of gravel. Additionally, no railings or steps are required.
If you choose wood for your floating deck’s material. Then it is preferable to construct the overtime on concrete blocks. This will keep the wood deck away from the ground’s moisture, keeping it dry and allowing for longer use. Alternatively, you can use wood-plastic composite decking to construct the floating deck. Which performs admirably in terms of waterproofing and moisture resistance. It is capable of adapting to a more complicated environment.
Regulations and Ordinances
Generally, floating decks do not require a building permit. Consult, however, your local building department. Prior to initiating your project, avoid unnecessary complications. Certain areas may have their own set of building regulations. Before embarking on an outdoor project, it is necessary to obtain permission from your local government.
Instructions for Installation
Prepare the area for the floating deck
Clear the area in preparation for the deck’s installation, removing grass and other debris as necessary. Rake the ground level and use a hand tamping tool to compact it. If necessary, cover the soil with landscape fabric and add a layer of gravel to prevent weeds from growing beneath the deck.
Configure the concrete blocks
Arrange the four concrete blocks in a rectangle 12 feet apart along the rectangle’s long side. And ten feet apart along the short side, as measured from the concrete block’s center.
Between each pair of corner blocks, place a wooden block to ensure that they are evenly spaced. Add one or more blocks to the rectangle’s center if desired. This can add stability to the deck but is not required to support the interior joists.
To ensure that all blocks are level with one another, use a 6-foot level or a standard (4-foot or 2-foot) level and a 12-foot straight board. Add or remove gravel from beneath the blocks as necessary to level them.
Construct the outer frame
Create a flat lawn on which to construct the deck frame. You can also build the deck directly on top of the concrete block if necessary. With a circular saw or power miter saw, cut ten pressure-treated 28-inch boards to 117-inch lengths; these are the standard joists. Alternatively, you can use the composite joists included with the wood-plastic composite decking. Which is a much more straightforward and time-efficient method of installing a deck.
Calculate the length of two 12-foot 28-inch boards. Trim them to exactly 144 inches if they are longer than 12 feet. Typically, lumber is a fraction of an inch longer than the nominal length; in this case, 12 feet. These are the end joists. To create a 120-inch by 144-inch rectangle, attach two end joists to the ends of two standard joists.
Drill pilot holes and use a drill bit to secure these two joists with three 3 1/2-inch deck screws at each corner. Make a pair of marks every 16 inches along with one of the 12-foot-long joists starting from the inside of one corner of the frame. In the same manner, mark the opposite end of the joist.
Add two additional standard joists to the frame, placing each end between a pair of layout lines and ensuring that the joists’ tops are flush. Drill pilot holes and screw three 3 1/2′′ screws into each end joist and standard joist.
Placing and repositioning the deck frame
Arrange the deck frame on the concrete block in such a way that the frame section rests in the concrete block’s center. Calculate the distance between the diagonal lines. As necessary, push the frame away from the diagonals to make it square. When the diagonal measurements of the frame are equal, the frame is square.
Examine the frame
Ascertain that the deck frame is square and solidly attached to each concrete block. Adjust the frame’s height as necessary by adding or removing soil or gravel beneath it.
Complete the installation of the remaining joists
The remaining six standard joists should be installed in accordance with the layout lines. Bear in mind that the standard joists should be flush with the tops of the end joists. This will help keep the decking boards flat.
Install the decking boards
Measure and trim all 12-foot lengths of decking deck to 144 inches. One decking board should be installed along one long edge of the decking frame, flush with the outside surface of the end joists. Alternatively, you can install the initial and final boards directly on the joists. So that they overhang by approximately 1 inch to provide a complete view. Simply keep in mind that the overhang on either side of the frame will be different.
Drill two pilot holes, one into the end joist and one into the standard joist, for each standard joist. Position the holes slightly off-center to avoid interfering with the frame’s screws. Attach the deck boards to the joists using 2-inch deck screws (for lumber that is 1 inch thick) or 2 1/2-inch screws (for lumber that is 1 1/2 inch thick).
Install the next decking board with two screws on each standard joist, spacing the two boards approximately 1/8 inch apart. Utilize the same technique to install the remaining decking boards, evenly spacing them.
Suggestions for constructing a floating deck
For floating decks, pressure-treated lumber is the least expensive option. Choose Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) as a decking material for a modest upgrade. Which typically has fewer knots and a more attractive appearance than conventional pressure-treated decking. Cedar is the next rung on the ladder, followed by redwood. These materials were chosen solely for their aesthetic appeal. They do not have the same rot-resistant properties as treated lumber.
Additionally, many people opt for composite wood decking. It is made from recycled plastic and wood pulp and exhibits excellent environmental resilience, necessitating the absence of a protective finish.