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I love the look and feel of high-quality composite decking but I want it flush/level with the ground. In other words, I don’t want to step down off the deck. I particularly don’t want my small children tripping/falling off the edge of the deck, and I don’t want railings since I have a small backyard in the city.

Contractors all want me to build it above-ground for airflow, or they say I can dig down 8” or so and build the foundation there. But they caution me that the reduced airflow will cause the treated lumber foundation to rot over time. I don’t want that.

Please be creative with your answers. Could we perhaps pour concrete first and then put composite on top of something made of plastic?

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Why the imperative about "exactly level"? Do you instead mean "flush with the ground"? (Edit the answer, and more info if you have it, into your original question.) – Daniel Griscom Apr 12 '18 at 19:06
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    Perhaps: Composite patio decking. It tends to be installed over a concrete pad for support. – Dan D. Apr 12 '18 at 19:14
  • Contractors all want me to build it above-ground .... are you saying that they refuse to build it? .... maybe you are not explaining it correctly, because it is always "above-ground", no matter how high – jsotola Apr 12 '18 at 19:22
  • Use the composite planks as supports. Create a void where you would have your deck. Make it two plank thicknesses deep. If your ground is soggy you might want to go deeper and level up with chip-to-dust and a vibrator. – Aethelbald Apr 12 '18 at 19:23
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    A deck close to the ground would be harborage for rats. Pavers would make a better surface at ground level. – Jim Stewart Apr 12 '18 at 19:52
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Use the composite planks as supports.

Create a void where you would have your deck. Make it two plank thicknesses deep. If your ground is soggy you might want to go deeper and level up with chip-to-dust and a vibrator.

lay a weed suppressant membrane.

lay your supports. These are the same as your boards but spaced out at 14" centers. You might want to drive 6" nails into these at either end to locate them horizontally.

Lay you boards over the top with deck screws. Job's a good'un.

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    What happens when it rains? wouldn't the void fill up with water? Then what happens when the ground freezes? Wouldn't the supports get lifted up (they are just sitting on compacted dirt) and twist around or warp the decking? – freshop Apr 12 '18 at 20:56
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    @freshop The weed suppressant membrane is porous and water seeps through it.. The supports are the same inert plastic stuff as the decking and will not warp. When the ground freezes it will lift up. The lawn and the deck will both lift up by the same amount. – Aethelbald Apr 12 '18 at 21:06

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