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Thread: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    I have picked up plans for using floating pool deck design for building a deck around my pool. This uses dek-blok piers made of concrete in a 12X12X8 inch casting. You then put the posts in the pier and you frame the deck...after you frame you use cross bracing for strength and stability...since you are not putting posts on the ground it floats and shifts with the ground in the winter and summer. As the ground heaves the deck floats with it...You don't have to dig holes and poor concrete into each hole...I would like to see if anyone has used this method and what they have to say about it. Thanks

    Cubbybeave...
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    Beave
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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    I haven't but I will be following this thread closely because I'm considering doing the same thing.

    I do recall someone else on these boards posted a project where they only used the pier blocks. You might try doing a search with "pier blocks" or something like that as the keywords.

    HTH,
    Adam
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    See if there is some helpful info for you here:


    central-michigan-agp-and-deck-install-t120.html?hilit=floating%20pier
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    I looked at a floating deck before doing mine, however local building codes prohibited it.Make sure you check first. Another thing to consider is plank placement. If your going to be putting the boards to the top rail you'll be fine. But if going under the top rails then it might damage a rail when the decking "heaves" up.

    John
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    We used dekblok when putting up a deck for our pool. We have not put the deck all the way around the pool yet. The side we put the deck on was only 30 inches from the ground so we did not have to use bracing so it went pretty fast. It took my husband and myself about 1 weekend to build. It is a 20x20 deck. It is just as sturdy as the deck attached to the house with post in cement. You just need to make sure that the ground under each block is level. They do not need to be level with each other. I hope this helps.
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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Quote Originally Posted by SMWill42
    We used dekblok when putting up a deck for our pool. We have not put the deck all the way around the pool yet. The side we put the deck on was only 30 inches from the ground so we did not have to use bracing so it went pretty fast. It took my husband and myself about 1 weekend to build. It is a 20x20 deck. It is just as sturdy as the deck attached to the house with post in cement. You just need to make sure that the ground under each block is level. They do not need to be level with each other. I hope this helps.
    That is good advice...I wondered about that...My deck will be higher than 30 inches...I have a 54 inch side wall. I have not checked with building code yet...I can't imagine it is a problem. I know my neighbor build a little 12X12 deck in his yard last summer and I watched him do it with deck piers. I don't even know if he got a permit for it. However I will check all that out.
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Quote Originally Posted by jrv331
    I looked at a floating deck before doing mine, however local building codes prohibited it.Make sure you check first. Another thing to consider is plank placement. If your going to be putting the boards to the top rail you'll be fine. But if going under the top rails then it might damage a rail when the decking "heaves" up.

    John
    How much heave could there be...The plans state to go a half inch below the top rail...would the ground heave that much in the winter...I am in NW Indiana...45 min from Chicago. Any advice.
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Quote Originally Posted by launboy
    I haven't but I will be following this thread closely because I'm considering doing the same thing.

    I do recall someone else on these boards posted a project where they only used the pier blocks. You might try doing a search with "pier blocks" or something like that as the keywords.

    HTH,
    Adam
    When I get started, I will be posting pictures so I will keep this thread going...I think I am going to modify the plans a little bit to not put the framing on top of the posts as it shows, but to tack in place with deck screws and put the 2X6 s on either side of the posts and lag bolt into place. It just seems a little more sturdy that way. I also think that as I am reading this...I might go right up to the top rail with a little gap so that the deck and the rail are even. This way if the deck does heave up in the winter time...it is free from being on top of or under the rail. But there is a half inch space between the two.
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Quote Originally Posted by cubbybeave08
    How much heave could there be...The plans state to go a half inch below the top rail...would the ground heave that much in the winter...I am in NW Indiana...45 min from Chicago. Any advice.
    The amount of ground heave depends greatly on the composition of your soil. Some kinds of soil hardly move at all, however, a couple of inches is not at all uncommon. Much more than that is possible, particularly for soils with a lot of clay in them.
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    I'm in eastern Iowa (similar latitude as you), in a small town, and I can tell you that the building code here demands 42 inch deep concrete footings for any deck higher than 30 inches above grade. You may be OK, but the amount of ground heaving from freeze/thaw cycles depends on soil composition and compaction, and drainage (just look around at concrete slabs and sidewalks in the area - some probably haven't moved, others have risen or fallen a lot). If I were you I'd sure feel a lot better if someone with experience looked at the site and gave me a thumbs up.

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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Done properly, dek-bloks work well, even in areas with large amounts of frost heave. They have a well thought out system that allows for movement. Still, many areas prohibit their use, so be sure to check before building with them.
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Done properly, dek-bloks work well, even in areas with large amounts of frost heave. They have a well thought out system that allows for movement. Still, many areas prohibit their use, so be sure to check before building with them.
    I stopped by city hall yesterday and picked up the code...i would be ok to use if I didn't build more than 30 inches above grade. That would be ok because 30 inches would come up to about the 3/4 mark on my 54 inch pool...With that said would building a bench at the front of the deck closest to the pool by bringing it up to the top rail, would that be seen as above grade or would it be a bench? What do you think. I actually would not mind having the deck (12X12) at the grade and not at the top of the pool. The other think the manufacturer suggests is that I submit the plans to the town along with the engineering specs for the dek blocks themselves and see what they say.
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    I am following this as well. Deck building begins soon, so hoping to learn as others go. We had taken dek-blocks out of the equation because of high winds and ground heave in Texas. The ground does not heave here from frost, but because we are on solid clay- changes in moisture level can mean up to 6 inch (measurable) ground shifts over a period of a couple months. Big cracks open in the ground when it is dry too. I wonder if that is not too much for dek-blocks? We don't have to worry about building codes- we live in a rural area. We are more concerned about structure survival and durablility- kind of imposes codes upon you.
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Quote Originally Posted by amjohn
    I am following this as well. Deck building begins soon, so hoping to learn as others go. We had taken dek-blocks out of the equation because of high winds and ground heave in Texas. The ground does not heave here from frost, but because we are on solid clay- changes in moisture level can mean up to 6 inch (measurable) ground shifts over a period of a couple months. Big cracks open in the ground when it is dry too. I wonder if that is not too much for dek-blocks? We don't have to worry about building codes- we live in a rural area. We are more concerned about structure survival and durablility- kind of imposes codes upon you.
    Just wondering with ground heave that measurable, how does that effect in ground and well above ground pools for that matter as well. I would think if you are concerned about dek blocks for that reason, aren't you worried about your pool too...
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    I just got an email from the city building inspector, he stated that he would approve of my plans as long as dek block plans allowed for a 40 lbs per sq foot live load. I sent him the specs showing it does, and the specs on ground heave...I am not that concerned...but I have had some people tell me that the worst the heave is them more unstable the deck can be...and it could fall into the pool...I am going to have to look into this further...I have asked some questions to the inspector...for those of you who are wanting to do this, I will post the email when I get it back...It should answer a lot of concerns that I as well as many of you have on this subject...I feel pretty good, I was pretty sure that they would not approve of the plan, because I talked to a guy in the construction biz...and he said they would not allow it because of the frost heave issue. But my ground is extemely level at the site I plan to build...I might be worried if it were on the other side...but not here.
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Beave, in-ground pool was not an option for the reason of ground shift. People we know who have in-ground pools around here are in town, have the hole excavated well beyond normal, then refilled with "normal" dirt, then extra reinforcement on the sides. They also spend a lot of money and time on crack-control, particularly if they did not spend the up front money on extra reinforced sides.
    You should see what happens to home foundations in these conditions.
    Above ground required us to over-excavate the whole bottom, and then refill with about 10 inches of sand to create a bottom with some give in it. Also, we will try to keep the ground around the pool evenly damp to reduce movement- splash a lot I guess. We also except the fact that wrinkles will occur due to movement- it is a fact of life here. I am just glad to have a pool, even if our conditions are not ideal.
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Quote Originally Posted by amjohn
    Beave, in-ground pool was not an option for the reason of ground shift. People we know who have in-ground pools around here are in town, have the hole excavated well beyond normal, then refilled with "normal" dirt, then extra reinforcement on the sides. They also spend a lot of money and time on crack-control, particularly if they did not spend the up front money on extra reinforced sides.
    You should see what happens to home foundations in these conditions.
    Above ground required us to over-excavate the whole bottom, and then refill with about 10 inches of sand to create a bottom with some give in it. Also, we will try to keep the ground around the pool evenly damp to reduce movement- splash a lot I guess. We also except the fact that wrinkles will occur due to movement- it is a fact of life here. I am just glad to have a pool, even if our conditions are not ideal.
    I will give you the long and short of it...after considerable back and forth with the building inspector, who by the way was great he answered all of my questions truthfully. And then talking to the construction experts at my Home Depot...I decided to go with concrete footings and forgo the deck blocks...For the obvious reason that the construction guy at the DEPOT told me that they don't usually see dek block piers used for any deck that is more than on foot off of the ground...a one inch heave is not going to effect the structure of that low of a deck as it would one that will be eventually 54 inches hight...with three foot or better posts... He said most of the people who build with dek block piers are doing so in mild climates. The building inspector said that I could do it they would approve of the plans but he would not recommend their use. But here is the kicker...the plans that Home Depot drew up for me came with complete materials list and low and behold...the same size deck costs about $200-$250 less then the dek block plans. So with that savings I got myself a nice impact driver to help me in my deck building endeavors!!!

    Anyway if you have the kind of heave that causes that much trouble, I would not go with the dek blocks...The floating deck could do just that float right into the side of your pool and cause damage to your pool, and what good is that...I have to go 36 inches deep so it looks like I will be renting an electric post hole digger. I am going to just pour concreat footings and attach posts to concret with 4X4 galvanized steel post fasteners. That looks like the easiest way to go. I will be uploading pictures of the project as it goes. It should be lots of fun...
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    Also thanks to Dave...Frustrated Pool Mom's hubby for offering to help...He is one true craftsman when it comes to building decks. ..I will be in good hands for the hard part...Setting the posts...I think once that is done...because I am not building an oddly shaped deck...I will have no problem squaring the framing and wth galvanized connectors...we should be done within a couple of weeks.

    Beave
    Beave
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    Re: Anyone use floating deck for building pool deck???

    That tells me what I needed to know on deck blocks. We will be sinking 4X4 and 4X6 (on critical corners) posts in concrete in as deep a hole as our post hole digger will allow (tractor mounted). We built a barn this way, and the main structure survived a tornado, so we know it can take it. We will post pictures as we go as well. We are in the drawing/planning/procrastination phase right now. That, and it has been a few years since the post hole digger was on the tractor- may take my husband a while to get that rigged again.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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