Yes, you can build a deck directly on the ground, but with some conditions. A deck on the ground must be built with ground-contact wood, and the substructure needs to be adapted for minimal height. Even though technically a ground level deck is elevated up to 24”, here we will discuss decks built less than 8” high.

How close to the ground can a deck be?

Make sure you build your deck high enough for ventilation so the ground can dry out. That way, your deck will last longer. Generally, if a deck is less than 12 inches above the ground, the perimeter of the deck must be open for free air to flow beneath the deck.

How low to the ground can you build a deck?

There is no standard height for a “grade-level” deck—the maximum measurement from grade to the deck surface could be 6 inches, 12 inches, 24 inches, or more. But generally speaking, I apply the term to decks that are up to 30 inches above grade, since guardrails are required for any decks that are higher than that.

How do I build a deck near the ground level?

Quote from the video:
Quote from Youtube video: To give me a better visual we started by laying out a frame of the deck till similar to deck I used three inch deck screws. But you can also use joist hangers which is probably a better option.

Do I need footing for ground level deck?

If you want to expand your outdoor living space, a ground level deck might be your best option. Since it’s not connected to a house, it can go anywhere in your yard and doesn’t require deep footings. Because it rises just inches above ground, it doesn’t need stairs or railings.

Can you build a deck without digging holes?

Yes. It’s possible to build a deck without digging holes. This type of deck is called a floating deck, and it sits right on top of the ground without any posts or support areas that you’d dig down into the ground [to secure].

How long will a ground level deck last?

On average, a ground-level deck will last 15 years or more. A ground level deck’s life is vastly dependent, not on the decking but the environment under the decking. With the deck so close to the ground, the deck’s substructure is at risk of failure, shortening how long the deck will last.

Does a deck need a foundation?

Decks are supported by foundations, which transfer loads to the soil. The system comprises concrete footings, deck posts, anchors and post caps. Footings are concrete pads that typically rest at least 12 inches below the ground. In some areas, they extend deeper based on frost lines or when working on a steep grade.

What is a floating deck?

A floating deck is a deck that isn’t attached to a building and they “float” above the ground. Generally, floating decks are low to the ground and don’t require handrails or even staircases. They are sometimes called “grade-level” or “freestanding” decks because they’re built just above the ground level, or grade.

How do you anchor a floating deck to the ground?

Quote from the video:
Quote from Youtube video: You simply use a handheld impact wrench. And you drive it into the ground there's a load plate underneath. At any rate very easy to install we installed 24 of them on this jobsite.

Can you build a deck without footings?

You can also build a deck without footings. A deck without footings might be appropriate if it is a low deck platform. Deck blocks, made of concrete or heavy-duty plastic, are strong enough to hold these kinds of deck platforms. Low decks don’t need footings because they are close to the ground.

Do deck blocks need to be buried?

Simply placing them on the ground or on a poured concrete pad a few inches deep usually isn’t enough to comply with codes — they must be set at least 12 inches deep in undisturbed soil. However, concrete deck blocks can be used without restriction for a freestanding deck that’s not attached to your house.

Can I use deck pier blocks instead of footings?

Pier blocks can be used instead of footings for a ground-level deck not requiring permits. Piers blocks can also be used if the frost level depth is less then the height of the pier block. Allowing you to set the pier block below the frost level on stable ground.

Will deck blocks sink?

The deck blocks can sink if the soil under them erodes for some reason or the weight is unevenly distributed. That’s why it’s a good idea to use more than less.

Do freestanding decks need footings?

According to the main code provision for footings, the only requirement for building a deck that is freestanding is that it must have a minimum footing depth of 12 inches below the undisturbed ground surface. There is no need to extend a footing below the frost line, as is required for standard decks.