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kristi_hoes

03:26AM | 11/03/01
Member Since: 11/02/01
1 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
Are deck blocks strong enough for the posts to be set in? The piers are 8' apart. I am using all cedar posts with treated lumber for the floor joists.

[This message has been edited by kristi_hoes (edited November 22, 2001).]

tygar663

06:03PM | 11/07/01
Member Since: 11/04/01
14 lifetime posts
a poured concrete pad is always better less chance of movement and sinking..

Good Luck

Jay J

05:21AM | 11/08/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi kristi_hoes,

I'm a little confused. You mean you're setting your beams IN deck blocks? 1) beams run horizontally, thus, maybe they'd sit ON deck blocks. 2) Beams are usually ABOVE ground (like floor joists). 3) Piers are set IN the ground. See a picture of Piers here.

So, if I may make some assumpions here ... No, deck blocks are not what you should set your Posts on. If you're building a free-standing deck, it's best to pour piers that are 6" below frost line, with gravel in the bottom for drainage. You could build your deck w/the posts set right IN the concrete, and you won't have anything 'sitting on' any concrete. I think that pouring a concrete pad (which to me implies a patio) is over-kill.

Taking this one step further, there are TONS of books out there on how to construct a deck, free-standing or otherwise. If you're doing this job yourself, spend some of the $$$ you save on a good book. There's nothing like a safe deck when you hear about them collapsing for a number of reasons, with people on them! It would be $$$ well spent. The reason I don't suggest deck blocks is because they 'move' as water erodes the dirt under them. I don't know why they still make them. (Maybe there was a time where using them was SOP.)

To further support my suggestion about getting a good book, here's what my neighbor did. He build his own deck. ANd he did it W/O using 1 single bolt!!! He nailed EVERYTHING together. Over time, the wood expands and contracts and his joists are separating from each other. If he doesn't install bolts in them soon, the joists will separate and the deck WILL collapse. Thankfully, it's only about 3' off the ground. Oh, 2 years ago, he had about 20 people on it. I actually went into a back bedroom to watch these people to see if the deck was going to collapse. I couldn't believe I was doing that but I don't know how to tell him. He's not the type to take to 'constructive criticism' if you know what I mean. He means well but all his DIY work is half-#$%.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: Reader's Digest, Time/Life, to name a few, have the books. You can even visit Amazon.com or Border's Books. Just be SURE they have the type of deck you want (in terms of how it's constructed ...)

PPS: God Bless AMerica!

Compaque

05:36AM | 11/20/01
Member Since: 11/19/01
2 lifetime posts
Jay - thanks for the post.

could you give me a name of a good book (or set of books, author, etc.) for deck and outdoor construction that you would recommend?

thanks again.

Jay J

08:09AM | 11/20/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Compaque,

I don't have a specific recommendation but Time/Life and Reader's Digest are 2 WEB sites to visit. You can also visit Amazon.com for more choices. The 2nd part of Amazon's WEB page has TONS of more choices. (I even think you can find more pages after the dozen that are listed.) Read the Buyer Reviews for the books that interest you. Then, you can call the Publisher (not Amazon) for info about your type of deck. The important thing is that the book you buy will have information on how to build the deck you want. And in this example, the homeowner wants a pier-based deck. A free-standing pier-based deck is best. Try to avoid 'attaching' it to the foundation because the deck may want to 'move' a little. (It's just Mother Nature ...)

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!

Compaque

07:25AM | 11/28/01
Member Since: 11/19/01
2 lifetime posts
Hey Jay J-

I checked out Amazon - they have an incredible amount of stuff there. With their reviews and member lists I was able to find a few books that I think will be helpful. The only problem is that its like going to a grocery store on an empty stomach -- I'm constantly finding more stuff I want (I purposely avoided the 'tools' section for fear of getting into serious trouble!). You can really get lost on that site...

anyway, after coming across a few of your posts randomly, I did a search for your name and read all of them. Have to say that I learned a LOT from you.

so thanks, and please keep posting!

Jay J

02:49PM | 11/28/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Compaque,

Very good! I appreciate the personal feedback, and do wish you well. I hear ya regarding the shopping spree! There's so much to drown in.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!

ssantello

02:23AM | 11/29/01
Member Since: 01/26/00
22 lifetime posts
I'll second that! -Steve S.
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