floating deck edge

jmt_bostonJune 5, 2012

I am interested in creating a low deck in my backyard, approximately 10'x 11'. I'd like the deck to have the appearance of floating above the ground, no visible support at the edges. I'd also like that edge to read as relatively thin (say 4' +/-). I've know how to frame a conventional deck, but how do you move the piers back from the edge and still keep the deck low to the ground? I've attached a photo of the type of detail I'm thinking of. Any advice?

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Do you mean 4inches?

My deck is floating - but it is about 20inches off the ground and has a standard 12inch trim around the sides. The footings are 3feet back from the edge of the deck. So it sounds like your problem is different.

How high off the ground do you want the deck to be?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Sorry, typo, yes I did mean 4 inches. The step to the ground will be about 7 inches, and I don't want to see the concrete piers it's sitting on when you look at the edge. It's a very small backyard so I've kept the deck low and railing-less. It will have fence 12-18" away on two sides so I'd like that floating appearance from the other sides.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 5:55PM
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So I think you have two issues - 1) the floating edge and 2) the height. You can frame the deck with 2x6s and that would give you a deck 7-1/4inch thick.

Let's start with the cantilevered edge. For my deck I used a beam going out diagonally to the corner - so that would be one option. But that makes the framing more complicated. And I will report that my deck is slightly uneven after several years - probably due to the complicated framing, the combination of regular PT lumber and "parallam" beams, and maybe the use of PVC decking that is more likely to sag. I'm still happy with how it looks but it may not be the best approach.

But with the deck so low to the ground you wouldn't need to cantilever it out much to hide the framing. So I'd investigate just sistering a 2x4 to the edge of the deck. Assuming that you would put a 4inch high trim board on top of that it might give you enough extension to conceal the 2x6 frame. You could paint the 2x6s matte black to further hide them.

So that leaves the issue of how to support it all. With 2x6s you are going a _lot_ of points of support. The simplest solution might be to just pour a concrete slab under the whole thing. If you put 2x4 sleepers under the frame that would make the whole thing about 9inches high.

I also found the link below that shows a frame made completely out of 2x4s!

Hope that gives you some ideas. Don't give up - when I built my deck the contractor came back to me at one point and said they couldn't build the deck the way I wanted and it would have to be higher than the inside floor. So they proposed that they build a step up inside the house to get out to the deck. I said "NO" to that and came up with the plan with the diagonal beam.

Here is a link that might be useful: CONCRETE PAD APPLICATION - PERPENDICULAR

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:37AM
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