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I'm thinking of building a new deck at my new home that I just moved into. It's going to be a two level one. The highest level will be about 3 feet high.

I'm not worried about code because its not enforced here but I do want to make things right rather then change or needing to upgrade it later.

My previous deck was code enforced and I had to make footing 48" below frost line I believe, fill it with concrete and put footing on it.

I've seen my neighbor have a much higher deck for his pool and he's using one of these on 2' x 2' sections of crushed rock / gravel.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_19070-1662-DEK-BLOCK+BRAND+PIER_0__?productId=3613302

I'm wondering if I can use those for the deck and attach my deck to the house using the ledger, vs going 48" down, concrete and ledger connect.

Suggestions are very welcome :)

  • If you search the forums for deck-bloc, some of them suggest you cannot use it for decks that are attached to buildings, only free standing decks. – bib Oct 2 '14 at 20:39
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You will have a more stable deck if you go 48" into the ground. This will significantly reduce the stress on the house and deck at the ledger board. In my deck experience (I used to rebuild decks) I would rather have a pier in the ground. In some of the estimates the ground goes through 1,000 freeze thaw cycles in a hard winter here in the Midwest. That means that your deck will move slightly up and down with each cycle. This would matter more or less depending on the soil type and the size of the deck. It is a bit more work to drill the piers and pour the concrete but I think it's worth it. I haven't read all the specs on those piers but when they first came out I don't think they were advertising it for as tall of a deck as your wanting to build or that your neighbor has.

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It should work but keep in mind that if there is any failure and someone gets injured, things could get ugly pretty quickly. Like you said it's not going to be to code. I've seen multiple decks and other grade level projects using the linked blocks or ones poured by hand as footing. Always best to put some non-degradable structure or material under the blocks as well.

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If you don't want to build proper concrete footings, then do not attach it to your house.

It should be free-standing.

If it will not be higher than 3 feet at any point, then a free standing deck on gravel base like your neighbour's would in most cases be perfectly fine.

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