Decking design concerns....need ideas 18 inch drop off

rfrench79

New member
Jul 22, 2019
4
Dallas Texas
Just want to start by saying this forum is awesome, and I have been lurking for a while. We are nearing the end of our pool project, and I have consulted this forum and site for so many of the decisions I have made for design and equipment.

The reason I am posting today is due to some concerns we have about how steep of a drop off we have from our decking. Mostly my wife is concerned that since it is so steep, we need to address that in some fashion and in her words "do something" so that there is not such a massive drop off because "kiddos are going to hurt themselves".
Early on our PB wanted to put 2 steps into our tanning ledge and then step down the decking as a partial solution for the 18" inch drop off from the back of the house to the back of our yard. We didn't like the way that looked or the way the steps encroached on the tanning ledge in that design.

So there are only a few ways I can think of to address this, add more concrete decking closer to the edge of the fence (no easement there to be concerned with) or build up some kind of rock/flower-plant bed there.

I am open to what you guys think would be the best way to address this, and really appreciate the help in advance!!
 

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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,421
Chapel Hill, NC
A small stone wall (maybe 12"-15" tall) would prevent people from accidentally slipping/tripping into the void (and maybe provide some casual seating). And then put bushes/plantings behind that.

Other than that, the pool looks great!
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
205
Urbana, MD
that is a big, why didnt the PB build the pool deeper? It sounds like they messed up the elevation.... You should check on that.... After they pour the concrete and remove the forms, it looks like it needs a small retaining wall, otherwise that sand will just fall. My suggestion to you is to add some concrete steps in different areas around the deck and the rest block it with some grasses... Maybe top soil on most areas and slope it towards the fence.
 
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rfrench79

New member
Jul 22, 2019
4
Dallas Texas
I like the idea of a small stone wall @skn77a

@neato the current plan is to have the cement drop to a bond beam that will go all the way down to the bottom so the dirt wouldn't just fall out all the way around. I also like the idea of just dropping down 2 steps on that side.

@bdavis466 There is no difference from the coping to the top of forms, they are even and level.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
433
Prosper, TX (DFW)
I like the wooden deck idea. You can also just mulch the area and add taller bushes as a barrier (box wood, holly, etc). That wont completely alleviate the risk of someone falling off, but it would help.
 

rfrench79

New member
Jul 22, 2019
4
Dallas Texas
Hey @JJ_Tex
I am about an hour south of you sir. I thought about also moving out about an average of 16 inches to the right and adding a separate concrete beam that would split the difference of the 18inches at around 10 inches high and then fill the space between the 18 inch deck and the 10 inch beam with some kind of stone? Not sure if my description makes sense...but basically make a 9 inch tall stone bed beside the decking that would extend about 16 inches and match the decking radius.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
433
Prosper, TX (DFW)
That makes sense. I still think you want something with some height to give a bit of a barrier. Otherwise its just a step for them to fall down.

With that said, I have a 18" drop off on the side of mine. They faced it with some travertine pavers and called it a day. Eventually I will do a square raised bed in the area highlighted.
 

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rfrench79

New member
Jul 22, 2019
4
Dallas Texas
Maybe a railing?

Or, you could do a wood deck to extend the deck and include a railing.
That makes sense. I still think you want something with some height to give a bit of a barrier. Otherwise its just a step for them to fall down.

With that said, I have a 18" drop off on the side of mine. They faced it with some travertine pavers and called it a day. Eventually, I will do a square raised bed in the area highlighted.
I love the travertine, I wanted to do it so badly but I have 1480sqft of decking total and when I looked at the price it made me want to cry lol....but I think you are right, how tall above the decking I am wondering should I make it, in order for it to be effective? Here is another pic also.
 

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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,587
Make sure that a railing meets all applicable standards and code requirements.

 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
578
MA
I'm not sure what strange course of events would have led to installing a 18 to 24-in form and then backfilling 12 to 18 in of the form and pouring a deck on top of it. :scratch:

In any event when the forms are removed you're going to need to support the dirt underneath your new deck. At a bare minimum you'll need some type of structural material in there at a minimum slope of 1 to 1 and properly compacted. then of course you'll probably want some fabric and stone over whatever slope you put in there to prevent runoff from the patio undermining your deck. That material really should have been put in when they were prepping for the deck. Then they just would have needed a 6-in form.

If you think you already have enough patio space, then the cheapest option would probably be to install a 12-in wide stone strip around the entire perimeter and slope the rest of the dirt off at a 3:1 slope and then just plant that slope. your pictures only really show one side of the pool so it's hard to tell how tight the fence is around the rest of the pool.