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How to Build Floating Decks

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Lay Concrete Deck Blocks to Support the Small Deck
Picture of cement deck blocks.

Picture of cement deck blocks. Easy to situate as needed on your site, cement deck blocks provide the foundation for floating decks, as shown in this picture.

David Beaulieu

The floating deck in this project will stand just 9" off the ground. Concrete deck blocks (sometimes called "cement deck blocks") can be used to support such a short floating deck.

The dimensions of this small deck are approximately 8 feet x 10 feet. Such a small deck really only requires 9 concrete deck blocks (8 spaced evenly along the perimeter -- including one at each corner -- and 1 in the middle, under a joist).

You might wonder, "What's the purpose of such a small deck? Why bother building it at all?" So let's discuss the site on which this small deck was built. You might have a similar problem area on your own landscape that cries out for a small deck.

As you exit the front door of the house in question and stand on the front step, a wooden privacy fence that separates the house from the neighbor's stands not quite 9 feet away on the right. Meanwhile, a large Eastern white pine tree, standing 14 feet away, dominates the area immediately in front of you and slightly to the right.

Have you ever tried to grow grass or perennial flowers under a tall pine tree? Then you know that most plants just do not grow well in such an area: the pine tree simply drinks up most of the available water with its massive root system.

Consequently, prior to building the small deck, the area was just dirt and weeds -- a "problem area." Building a small deck here transformed the area into one that is usable.

So how to begin? Well, the area was already level, so we simply had to lay down some concrete deck blocks, as shown in the picture. As said above, the deck will stand 9 inches high, and about 4 of those inches are from the deck blocks we used. The height of our small deck is similar to that of our front step (which it abuts), so the foot-traffic transition from front step to deck will be a smooth one.

In Step 3 we'll move on to the building of this small deck's frame....

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