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Building a Floating Deck: What You Need to Know

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.

Floating decks are simple, attractive and relatively easy to build. Adding a floating deck to your backyard can provide a much-needed platform for patio furniture, a grill, a hammock and other backyard amenities.

BUILDING A FLOATING DECK: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

One of the biggest plusses of a floating deck is that you (probably) won’t need to get a permit to build it. Always check with your local building department for local regulations, but the International Residential Code says you won’t need a permit for your floating deck if your project meets the following criteria:

  • It takes up less than 200 square feet

  • It’s not more than 30 inches above the ground
  • It’s not attached to your house
  • It’s not in front of an egress door

ADVANTAGES OF A FLOATING DECK

A floating deck offers numerous advantages. In addition to not requiring a building permit, floating decks are far easier and faster to build than elevated decks. They also don’t require frost depth footings and don’t need handrails because they’re so close to the ground. Because a floating deck is ground level, repairing and maintaining them is relatively easy.

BEST WOOD FOR BUILDING A FLOATING DECK

Always use pressure-treated lumber to build a floating deck frame. If you can find ground contact pressure-treated lumber, that’s even better. The extra processing these boards go through protects them from deterioration, which is an additional threat because floating decks are so close to the ground.

As for decking material, there are many kinds of lumber that work great, such as redwood and cedar. You can also use pressure-treated lumber or southern yellow pine for the decking. Composite decking material is also a popular choice thanks to its durability and low maintenance. It won’t bend, crack, splinter or warp, which are more reasons homeowners love it.

CARING FOR YOUR FLOATING DECK

If you want your deck to keep its color and texture, plan to pressure wash it every year. For wood decking, it’s best to follow a regular maintenance schedule to keep the wood looking great. Over time, all unsealed decks will turn gray and start to crack. Maintenance intervals will vary depending on the type of wood and climate.

Generally, a deck should be sealed or stained every two to four years. Redwood and cedar tend to age better than other materials, but they will eventually fall victim to age.

If you really want a low-maintenance floating deck, consider composite decking. With a little cleaning and light maintenance, the material will retain its original appearance for years.

PROFESSIONAL DECK INSTALLATION

When you hire Mr. Handyman for floating deck installation, you get a professional carpenter with an average 10 years’ experience. Request service today or call your local Mr. Handyman at (877) 685-1377.

With Mosquito Joe, a few pests won’t spoil your deck experience. Mosquito Joe is part of the Neighborly® community of home services professionals. You can count on them for reliable mosquito and pest control.