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Can I build a deck this low to the ground?

Every set of instructions I've seen for building a deck requires me to put joists on top of beams attached to posts. But I only have 6" clearance above the ground. In other words, not enough room to stack the joists on top of the beams.

I'm certain I'm not the first person in the history of the world to do this, so how do I do it? Do I use joist hangers and run the joists between the beams creating a grid? Or do I need to bury tons of posts and attach the joists directly to them (I hope not!)


Joist hangers would be fine. You can bury concrete post piers to act as your actual piers as well. Do try to leave at least a few inches of clearance though th facilitate air flow so it doesn't get too soggy underneath.

But when building a deck that low, I'd suggest you also consider a patio, instead. A stone, concrete or tile patio will outlive any wooden deck.

  • When you say bury concrete piers, are you talking about turning a pre-cast concrete post on its side to act as a beam? Do I just then rest the joists on top of this? I assume I need to somehow then attach the joists to the concrete rather than just rest them, otherwise they'll fall over. How is this done? – RickMeasham Jun 30 '12 at 23:33
  • You can buy the pre-cast concrete pier's with a built in bolt/bracket and bolt the wood to it that way. Otherwise, the ones with the 'cross' on the top would work. The wood wouldn't fall over as it'd be attached to the deck structure. – DA01 Jul 1 '12 at 3:39

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