Ground-Level Deck

8 Things to Consider When Building a Ground-Level Deck

Building a ground-level deck can be an excellent way to optimize your outdoor comfort. These backyard features provide ample space to entertain guests and relax with loved ones. However, deck construction projects can be tricky to navigate without the right artisans by your side.

Our specialists at Artisan Outdoor Craftsman know how to build high-end composite decks in Fishers, IN. Below, we outline eight factors to consider when planning your next ground-level deck installation. Once you finish reading, contact our team for an at-home consultation.

Building a Deck: Factors to Consider

Multi-Level Ground Deck

Building the perfect deck requires patience and outstanding attention to detail. Wood materials can be vulnerable to weathering and deterioration if placed incorrectly. Additionally, installation mistakes can significantly reduce the lifespan of your deck by years.

It’s best to hire a reliable artisan deck builder for quality results. They will review your options and recommend the best strategy for your construction. Here are eight things to consider during the design process:

1. Choosing the Right Material

You can choose from a wide range of decking materials before starting your construction project. HDPE and PVC options are popular for some homeowners. However, composite wood decking is the premier choice for those who want to achieve greater deck flexibility and beauty.

Composite decking consists of wood pulp and granule plastic from recycled materials. Our artisans can cure these products before and after installation to prevent water damage and scuffs.

Wooden deck boards are easy to paint. You can explore different colors, depending on your style preferences.

2. Laying Decks Above Soil

When building a ground-level deck, many homeowners wonder if they can lay materials directly over soil. Our professional artisans highly discourage this method to prevent sinking and deterioration. Many yards have bumps and hills that may cause the deck to warp.

Instead, contractors can install structural support beams under your deck boards with at least an inch and a half worth of space between the wood and soil. This method lets water drain from the surface and gives the wood room to expand during changing weather conditions.

3. Ventilation Limitations

Ground-level deck frames lack ventilation. Hence, you should expect moisture under your planks to swell your deck during rain or humidity. Contractors call this problem “cupping.”

It can be challenging to reduce cupping for most ground-level decks. However, you can minimize the risk by investing in strong woods to fortify your joists and frames. Thicker boards also prevent warping and increase the lifespan of your deck. 

4. Adding Oil to Boards Before Installation

Some hardwood materials already have natural oils to resist water damage, but it’s still important for contractors to oil your planks before installation. Each side should have an oil-based coating that will withstand both ground and air moisture.

After your installation, hire contractors to oil your deck regularly for optimal durability. Foot traffic, UV rays, and aging can cause the original coat to deteriorate over time, exposing your planks to damage. Most professionals recommend annual coatings for the best results.

5. Joists and Anchors

After your contractors level the foundations and install reinforcing beams, they must attach joists and anchors for stability. These components are essential for keeping your deck flat year-round. Some local building codes also allow homeowners to install overhangs instead of flushes to save space on their decks.

Contractors must measure each corner of the deck before installing inner joists. In general, every side should be the same length. Miscalculations could cause one or more sides of your deck to sag.

6. Mind the Gaps

Correct spacing is vital when it comes time to lay the planks. It’s wise to keep at least a quarter-inch gap between planks to improve airflow and create space for expansion. Remember, your ground-level decking will lack ventilation, so every little bit helps.

Contractors may adjust the space between gaps corresponding to the material you use. For example, hardwood generally requires significantly less space than softwood, like cedar or pine.

7. Treatment After Installation

You may need to repaint your wood planks after wet summers or snowy winters. Always use the correct paint and staining products for these restorations. 

Acrylic or oil-based paint products are the best solutions when building a ground-level deck. Try to use the same brand as your original coat for consistent results. However, a contractor can help you choose the right products if you want to shake up your design.

A professional artisan can also help you replace rotted wood fixtures or broken concrete blocks. Severe structural damage may necessitate replacement anchors or joists.

8. Decorating the Deck

Visualize your dream deck throughout the construction process. Imagine where you want to place outdoor furniture, bars, or decorations to ensure that you have enough space for everything. 

You could install additional tiers to your ground-level deck for fire pits, hot tubs, or a garden.

You could also place awnings, mosquito nets, or solid-roof pergolas over your decking for enhanced comfort and privacy. A beautiful new deck may increase your home’s resale value and offer a welcoming space for family and friends.

How Can You Streamline Your Deck Build?

If you want to streamline your deck build, assess your home’s space, architectural style, and surrounding geography before building a ground-level deck. These considerations will help you complete the project quickly. 

Start Planning Your Deck Design With Artisan Outdoor Craftsman

Don’t wait to start planning your deck build with artisans you can trust. At Artisan Outdoor Craftsman, we make it easy to schedule a consultation online or over the phone. Our five-star deck specialists will take the time to understand your vision and bring it to life.

You can explore several highly recommended outdoor living features when partnering with our artisans. We work closely with reputable manufacturers, so you have access to cost-efficient decking materials without hassle.

Learn more about building a ground-level deck with our team at Artisan Outdoor Craftsman in Fischer, IN. Continue exploring our website, or call (317) 648-1137 to speak with a representative.