Creating Our Outdoor Living Room – The Deck Part One

First and foremost…our apologies that its been a year since our last post!  A wedding, honeymoon and a series of other life changes have kept us busy!  The good news is that work on Our Care Free Home has continued over the winter so a bunch of new posts are in the works!
One of the first projects we discussed after purchasing the Care Free Home was building a deck off of the main living and dining area.  The home was built with a full glass west-facing elevation complete with two sets of 12′ sliding patio doors, but none of the former owners ever got around to creating an outdoor space in this ideal location.
The west elevation of the home when purchased

Our first order of business was to consult the family architect (Rob’s dad) to come up with a design that would provide a large, functional outdoor living space while complimenting the scale, layout and architectural style of the home.  Once the design was complete, we started digging!

The first step of the project was to remove the existing landscaping brick, mulch and plastic landscape cloth. Next, we dug trenches to provide room for the support beams and dug holes for the footings. We also made sure to create a slope away from the house to ensure good drainage! A good rule of thumb for this is that there should be at least one inch of slope in each foot of distance from the house.
Trenches for the deck’s support beams

Next, we installed the deck’s footings and support structure.  The support beams run horizontal to the house and are built out of dual treated 2″x12″s to prevent warping and ensure stability.  The footing holes were filled with at least 6″ of gravel to form a solid base and then the pre-cast concrete footings were installed with grooved tops to hold the structure in place.

Support beams and footings

Next we added a set of joists perpendicular to the house 16″ apart to support the decking.  Because this is a “floating” deck it’s not attached to the house, so there is a 2″x12″ beam running along the foundation of the house that all of the joists are tied into as well as another 12″ support beam on the outside edge of the deck.

Support joists being installed

The end of the first phase left us with over 300 square feet of outdoor living space (just in time for winter)! Stay tuned for our next deck post on the finishing touches including stairs, stain and our privacy screen wall which are being finished up this week!

Phase one complete!