Deck that must be no more than 6' above grade?

msavoldFebruary 19, 2012


Any recommendations / comments on a new deck where the town code says it can NOT be more than 6" off the existing ground?

My biggest issue is how to frame it - if I use PT 2x6s, they end up half buried. And I'm afraid 2x4s on edge would flex too much and require way more footings. (For support, I was thinking 8" tubes.)

For the decking itself, we had first considered Fiberon Ipe decking - but they won't guarantee it if there isn't 6" clear under the deck. Now we're looking at real ipe - and the question there is whether to use 5/4 or 4/4 decking...

Oh, and the deck is in Delaware, about 4 blocks in from the ocean.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Whoops - subject line should be 6 INCHES, not 6'!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 2:10PM
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That's not a deck - that's a patio! Maybe install a concrete slab and if you don't like the look install something over it? Though I'm not sure you will find a composite decking that doesn't specify ventilation below it?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 3:26PM
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even real wood decking needs to have ventilation from beneath the surface

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 8:14AM
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There is stuff like this to go over concrete.

Here is a link that might be useful: Resurfacing a Concrete Patio Deck

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Thanks for the comments but, yeah - that's my problem: had thought about a slab but the town won't let me put concrete under it because they want rain infiltration so no solid surfaces. That makes me think that the local 'standard' is for people to just accept that their decks will rot from the minute they're built!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 3:19PM
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What town is this? Sounds like they are just saying "you can't have a deck".

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 4:15PM
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A paver patio will satisfy the rain infiltration requirement just fine.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 4:54PM
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Dennisgli: South Bethany, DE. Apparently, it's the state's natural resources dept. and the army corps of engineers that are driving the whole thing - we back onto a canal system that DNREC and USACE regulate and the town seems to be really trying to limit decks - or much of anything near the canals. The frustrating thing is that there are plenty of existing decks...)

GreenDesigns: thought about porous pavers - and may go back there again. Just didn't think a deck would be such a pain to do until I started looking into the details! (Aside: the town has *just* (last week) passed an ordinance approving porous pavers - for the past few years they were apparently insisting on considering them as impervious area...)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 12:35AM
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I would consider ipe deck tiles. Made for this type application:

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 10:02AM
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