To Any Builders Out There

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by wontonflip, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    We are taking on the daunting (to me at least) task of building our own ground-level deck. I think it's going to be attached to the house, and roughly 20x15 ft (I think that's what the hubby said). My question is what to put under the deck.

    It will be built under a 2nd level existing deck. We plan on making the ground-level deck go past the 2nd level one. Anyway, my question is what to do under the deck. We were going to try to smooth out the area under, and put that black thing that keeps weeds from growing. Do I really need it? Do we need to worry about drainage? Should we slope it away from the house a bit? It's not angled now, really, and no flooding problems. So should we worry so much?

    As I said, to me, it's a daunting task. Hubby's up for the challenge. And I know I've got my trustworthy reefers...I mean, builders here for support :D Any advice you guys can give us would be great! :bounce:
     
    wontonflip, Apr 11, 2010
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  2. wontonflip

    VAreef

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    You always want the grade to slope away from the house. No you don't need landscape cloth under it. You don't need to do anything special to the ground as long as you use timber that is approved for ground contact. IE pressure treated.
     
    VAreef, Apr 11, 2010
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  3. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Yes...definitely going pressure treated..but weeds love my lawn....while most of the deck will be under the 2nd story deck, there will be parts that will be exposed to sun between the gaps....I don't want li'l green things poking out.
     
    wontonflip, Apr 11, 2010
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  4. wontonflip

    Picasso Seahorse Whisperer

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    I'm not a builder but I can tell you that you want that no-weed black stuff! We built a deck on our old house and put the black stuff under most of the deck. We were a bit short and figured it wasn't a big deal..... It was a big deal. We fought weeds and growth on the uncovered section forever. Tried to retro-fit the stuff and it was a PITA. Now, it's easy for you to put the stuff down. Later it will be awful. Do it now. The deck sounds cool! PICTURES please?

    C
     
    Picasso, Apr 11, 2010
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  5. wontonflip

    coolhandgoose

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    Our back yard slopes away from the house so flooding was no issue. In order to make the deck level we used these cinder blocks that have a form on them to put a 4x4 in. This allows you to adjust the height of the deck so it stays level the whole length by adjusting the length of the 4x4. Making sense so far?
     
    coolhandgoose, Apr 11, 2010
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  6. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Yeah, we're going to get one of those pre-formed cement posts, since it's ground level anyway.

    Thanks, Pic, for the info...I'll definitely make sure to put that weed blocker down all the way :D

    No pics yet, as we're still in the planning stages. We have to measure, run to the hardware stores and jot down materials and pricing. I wanna get this baby rolling before it's too hot to work outdoors.
     
    wontonflip, Apr 11, 2010
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  7. wontonflip

    RIJohn

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    I do decks on the side for people, we are finishing a 25 by 25 for a client. As for under decks we always use crush stone sloping away from the home. Never any trouble with weeds though? Even we left it bare dirt, I would recommend using lattice around the sides of deck to keep out critters.
     
    RIJohn, Apr 11, 2010
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  8. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    How much do you think you spend in just materials, John?
     
    wontonflip, Apr 11, 2010
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  9. wontonflip

    daugherty part time reefer

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    i would slope it and use pea gravel
     
    daugherty, Apr 11, 2010
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  10. wontonflip

    Sunshine

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    We built ours from the house to the garage. It is covered with a corrugated roof. We didn't slope it because any rain that would get on it would go between the boards anyway. We didn't lay any weed barrier, we were lucky, no weeds came up through it. Part of it is in the sun, the roof didn't cover the whole deck. But, if I was to do it over again, I would of put the barrier down. Just to be safe.
     
    Sunshine, Apr 11, 2010
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  11. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    What's pea gravel? Just pea sized gravel? We're definitely going to do a slight slope in the dirt since it wouldn't hurt anyway. Should we put the pea gravel under or on top of the weed barrier?
     
    wontonflip, Apr 11, 2010
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  12. wontonflip

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Pea gravel is what everyone has in their yards here, Wonton! It is pea-sized gravel. Put the weed barrier down, then cover it with the gravel on top. That's how we have our front yard done.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 11, 2010
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  13. wontonflip

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    What we call pea gravel,is those pea sized rocks you find in creeks and rivers.
    How about a shot of the plans? :mrgreen:
     
    yote, Apr 11, 2010
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  14. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    We're still in the whining stage :mrgreen: So no pics. I promise I'll feed you pic whores some pics.
     
    wontonflip, Apr 11, 2010
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  15. wontonflip

    dcantucson

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    You can also use regular gravel over the weed block. It will hold it down better and be less likely to get washed away if there is a flood or hard rain. Pea gravel is really too small and used for landscaping decoration instead of grass. Animals can still dig in it very easily too where as gravel will stay in place more permanently. JMO
     
    dcantucson, Apr 11, 2010
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  16. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Good advice, all :) We walked through Home Depot and Lowes today to get some ideas and prices. We will get most (if not all) the materials from Lowes. Ironically, Home Depot normally has the worse customer service -- no one is ever available to help you; but today, every corner we turned, we were greeted with big smiles and a "How may I help you?'s". Unnerving. LOL. We got one of their 1-2-3 books on Decks to help us get started. The internet has lots of DIY help tools, but most aim towards fancy decks. The book aims more towards just simplifying it.

    We considered using nails, and buying him some nail guns and a compressor, but in the end, we decided to use deck screws instead. Good choice?

    I'm finding that getting things started is daunting...but once we start digging and leveling out the dirt, I'll feel better. It looks really simple, especially since it's ground-level. Like I said, it's me who's overwhelmed; hubby's all ready for the task!
     
    wontonflip, Apr 12, 2010
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  17. wontonflip

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I just bought a nail/staple gun and compressor today, Wonton :(
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 12, 2010
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  18. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Why are you " :( " ? We were looking at this one that had like 5 different nailguns (no compressors) worth around $500, but was for sale for like $230 or something...Don't know the brand; we would still have to get the compressor. Hence why we opted to just put his nice Dewalt drill to good use and use deck screws instead :)
     
    wontonflip, Apr 12, 2010
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  19. wontonflip

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I'm :( because it was expensive. We need one for the doors, and the electric ones were a fraction of the price, but can't drive nails that are long enough for what we need.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 12, 2010
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  20. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Yeah, hubby's nodding....so the one you ended up getting wasn't the right ones? That's why we skipped buying it. I didn't know anything about the brand that was on sale, and while they had a nice Dewalt brand that came w/ compressor and 2 nailguns, the nailguns weren't the right ones for decks.
     
    wontonflip, Apr 12, 2010
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