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Previously I asked about How to add on to a concrete patio? I am still considering my options and am now considering making a wood deck instead of a concrete patio. The deck would be about 14 feet by 14 feet and the top would sit about 8 inches above the ground in one corner and about 14 inches off the ground in the opposite corner.

The question Can I build a deck this low to the ground? addresses the concern of having wood sitting so close to the ground, but my concern is more about what will actually happen under the deck. Could I have any problem with creatures or fungus or something along those lines making a home under my deck with not enough space for a human to clean out under the deck? Is there anything that can be done to the ground to discourage this from happening? Should I just bring the edge of the deck all of the way to ground, or would leaving an air gap help? Or am I just over thinking this?

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landscape fabric, 1" sand, small air gap, composite deck – jberger Apr 6 '12 at 20:53
@jberger I have been fighting if I should go composite or not. I know it practically last forever compared to traditional wood decks, just seems hard to justify the price. Is there any other big advantages I should be considering? – Kellenjb Apr 7 '12 at 1:09
more durable; no splinters; doesn't warp; keeps color. my family has a small lake cabin that used to have an old wood deck. man, if you didn't wear sandals on that thing, you were priming for a splinter. we replaced it with a composite deck and it's worlds better. it is a high traffic area, whereas yours might be used a lot less... – jberger Apr 7 '12 at 15:36
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The biggest concerns I would have are things growing under the deck and critters moving in. I would grade the area to help with drainage so water won't puddle and spray the area with round-up or something similar.You might want to cover the ground with landscapers fabric so nothing can take root.Then spread a layer of crushed stone to hold it all in place.I would make sure the sides are covered with lattice maybe even put window screen behind it.This would still allow ventilation but keep out the critters.

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Yea thats the best answer for the question, no doubt! – ppumkin Apr 6 '12 at 20:22
I've heard landscape fabric then 1" sand over the top. – jberger Apr 6 '12 at 20:48
My only concerns with sand is if you get enough rain over time it can wash out from under the deck and ants love the sand and the shade from the deck. – mikes Apr 6 '12 at 21:01

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