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lowpine

deck advice question

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I'm considering building a small deck on the back of my grandmother's house and am looking for advise on one particular issue.

 

She's quite elderly and has a difficult time navigating stairwells without assistance. There's a existing concrete patio(12'x16') out the back door with 3-4 steps down to the landiing. The existing stairs are freestanding, sort of a mini-deck of stairs. As a result, she can't get out to enjoy the backyard. I was thinking of building her a small 10x10 freestanding deck off the back door so she can easily get outside to take in some fresh air. To give you an idea of the height, the planks would be around 30'' off the existing slab.

 

So the question is, is it feasible/practical/advisable to build a deck on a concrete patio/slab. I suspect the slab is likely 4-6'' in thickness, so off the bat I know this is not an ideal footer. That said, would the large mass of the existing concrete make up for or offset the depth, as far as suitability as a foundation for the small deck?

 

ideas, comments, suggestions welcome.

 

steve

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If the concrete that it there hasn't heaved or buckled you should be all set. I would think you could set your post holder into the concrete for your footings.

Good karma for you helping out though.

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Yeah, the concrete is in good shape, laid around 15 years ago and no cracks or any sign of degradation.

 

I was thinking of using post anchors for the posts to secure them and keep them off the ground and out of the moisture.

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Where I live anchoring in a concrete slab is a problem as the posts must on piers that are below the frostline for the area. I hear you about building something that will help an older person get out. I built a small deck over my mothers cracked and uneven concrete patio so she wouldn't twist her ankles and could walk straight out of the house without stepping down. It was a place she could feed the cat, and hang out the laundry. The posts were just set in the dirt, and a simple stair and railing were set around it. That was 20 years ago. Well, at 91 last year she passed on to a better place. I had to tear the deck down and rip up the patio this past spring to clear the way for a new CO so we could sell the house. Guess what? Still level, no rot, and I had to use a house jack to pull the posts out. So I'm not advising you to break your local codes, just relaying my experience.

Pete

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we have a similar regulation here for footers, 18" deep with a min of 6" concrete, frostline is pretty shallow here. So I know the patio isn't anywhere near that, I just wanted to see if I'd get a 'DON'T DO IT!' from anyone.

 

I'm still up in the air as to whether I'm gonna build the deck. My gut tells me the patio as a foundation for the small deck would be fine. The other thing is I talked to my GM the next day about it, she forgot our conversation and wasn't to enthused redface.gif. I guess it depends on her state of mind if she wants one or not. Oh well smile.gif

 

20 years and no rot is pretty good, that says alot about the quality of wood back then.

 

later

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20 years and no rot is pretty good, that says alot about the quality of wood back then.

 

Yes and the kind and amount of chemical in the treated lumber. Probably tributyl tin. Same stuff that wouldn't allow anything to grow on my boat bottom.

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The issue you may run into there is one of building codes. Not sure about VA building codes and permit requirements, but here in NJ you would have to get a building permit to do a deck like that (at least in my pain in the @$$ town). If the footings don't meet code they will not approve the plan. Sometimes you can get away with a small deck like that without getting a permit, but when the day comes to sell the place you may run into trouble.

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View PostThe issue you may run into there is one of building codes. Not sure about VA building codes and permit requirements, but here in NJ you would have to get a building permit to do a deck like that (at least in my pain in the @$$ town). If the footings don't meet code they will not approve the plan. Sometimes you can get away with a small deck like that without getting a permit, but when the day comes to sell the place you may run into trouble.

 

yeah, this one would fly under the radar. There are existing steps there, that should be on the plat. The proposed deck wouldn't be much bigger. She really just needs enough room for a small bench to sit on with a small side table for the paper and a coffee.

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