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Eric M. Bright
Eric M. Bright, We Don't Comprehend the Word Can't!
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1923
Experience:  I've been been doing things for my clients that others have said cant be done for over a 1/4 Century
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I want to build a freestanding wood entry deck, approx 8X8

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I want to build a freestanding wood entry deck, approx 8X8 (maybe 8X10), about 3 feet above the ground. It will replace precast concrete steps (hollow inside) which rest on a concrete pad about 6X8 feet.

My idea is to epoxy or set in cement 4 threaded studs in the pad, mount post bases and 4X4 posts on the studs, run two beams parallel to the house, joists across the beams, decking across the joists, etc.

I don't know how deep the concrete pad goes into the ground, but it has supported the concrete steps for 40 years, with no movement due to frost heaves (northern New England). I would guess that the proposed wood deck would not be much heavier than those concrete steps.

Will this scheme work? Will it pass building codes? What should I know and be aware of?

Hi, Welcome to, I am glad you are here! My name is Eric & I will endeavor to answer your question.


At face value, I think you have a pretty good idea and it sounds structurally sound. That would sure beat tearing out your existing concrete! It is possible though that because this is an unconventional manner of supporting your deck, if you intend to pull permits and get inspections, you may need to get an architect or engineer to sign off on the plan. You also however, might be able to draw up the plan yourself and submit it when you apply for your permit. The city plan reviewer himself is either an architect or an engineer and might just look at what you have drawn and say OK, build it. If there are any minor changes he wants to see, he may also just notate on your drawing somthing like "Add Simpson HUC hangers here". I have been successful in getting my own "unsealed" hand drawings approved by building & zoning many times and that is in Miami-Dade County one of the toughest building departments in the country. Worst comes to worst, you submit your drawings and they reject it and tell you that you need a sealed plan.


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