10:39AM | 11/30/04
Member Since: 11/29/04
1 lifetime posts
My husband and I are having a wood patio built by a contractor. It is basically dug into the ground and only about three or four inches above ground level. My county requires a permit if you have anything on footings. He said we didn't need footings because he was digging the beam (I guess that is waht it is) into the ground and a footing was something that had to be so many inches before it was consitered a footing. My question is-does that sound realistic, or did he just feed us a bunch of lies?


11:11AM | 11/30/04
Member Since: 11/27/04
174 lifetime posts
are you in a freezing area. do you have clay soils that will heave up and down with every winter.

treated beams dug into the ground are okay but will not last as long as intended due to constant water on and in it. and digging in most of the structure of the deck beams and joists or with the way of 4 by 4's on the ground and then decking is for dry climates.

have you thought about brick? but you still need to (in freeze areas) dig out down a foot ,fill with good compacting but draining material, and then 1 inch of sand to put the brick onto.

and make sure the deck is pitched slightly so that water flows away from the house.


04:07PM | 12/04/04
Member Since: 12/27/02
543 lifetime posts
Good advice by "the"eagle... plus:

There is a direct contact treated lumber for that purpose, it is (I believe, as my memory getting old with me) .40 ACZA... You won't want regular treated timbers in the ground like that they won't last.

Look at the color of the treatment, ground is darker depending on your area, and at the end cuts the treatment goes deeper or at the tags especially, they will tell you the treatment type.

Next, if there are cuts, be sure to put copper napthanate on them... it'll last a slight longer than regular timber if you don't.

Next be sure you get the underside of that deck to drain.. standing water under there won't make it through a northern frost, or a southern summer.

Which brings us to breathing, the deck needs to breath.. it requires an airflow without it it'll rot no matter the treatment... it'll create mold growth and other nasty life on the underside of the decking otherwise.

Finally, anything that would support a stucture would be considered a footing, even if it's a rock on top of the soil. The timber is only taking place of a concrete footing which is normally used. Your county building dept. may have a FAQ and if you're uncomfortable trying looking it up online or give them a call.

Bottom line if the carpenter was recommended and you are happy with him, most likely he's doing a good job and that may be common pratice in your area? We really can't tell from here without the full information as "the"eagle was mentioning.

Alter Eagle Construction & Design


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