Building a Ground Level Backyard Deck

Have you dreamed of entertaining guests outdoors? Or enjoying some quiet time, sipping coffee on your deck. Then perhaps it’s time to think about building a ground-level deck.

Ground-level decks (also called a floating deck or a platform deck) are decks that are close to the ground. When decks are less than 30” above grade, they’re usually easier to build for three reasons.

  • They don’t require ladders or railings (less risk of injury)
  • They usually don’t require stairs or guard rails for safety (Though you may choose to add one or both for ease of use and/or decoration.)

They may not require a permit. Typically, decks under 200 square feet and/or shorter than 30 inches high that are unattached to a property do not require a permit. (Just to be safe, however, check with your local builder’s office to be sure you’re not in violation of any codes in your area or neighborhood.)

Easier to build can also mean lower costs than an elevated deck. Some of the most expensive components for a deck are railings and stairs. Since a ground-level deck does not require safety railings or stairs to access, the cost to build one is comparatively lower than building an elevated deck in terms of both materials and labor.

Ground-level decks set outdoor living spaces apart and give you a beautiful area to add chairs, potted plants, and even a grill for entertaining. It provides you with a level of space to enjoy your property and time outdoors.

However, there are a few things to know before you start building your own ground-level deck. As with all DIY projects, the success is in the planning. There are many different types of ground-level decks, including decks that require footings and those that are attached to your home. However, just in case this is your first DIY home project, we’re going to keep it simple.

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