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Supporting bearers for low deck

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Hervey Bay
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    2

    Default Supporting bearers for low deck

    Planning to replace pavers with a hardwood deck in a U-shaped courtyard (about 8 x 8). The house has an "exposed slab" construction (rendered blueboard exterior walls) for termite protection, so I want to leave at least 25mm of the slab exposed above the deck. This leaves me very little height to work with (less than 250mm from ground to top of deck after removing pavers and excavating as far as possible while still providing drainage).

    I read a suggestion in another thread that the bearers could be laid on concrete blocks - an idea I was thinking of myself - making it easy to provide short span allowing for smaller bearers (90mm max?).

    Is this a good idea? Should I fix the bearers to the blocks? (How?)

    Would it be OK to use a couple of widely spaced concreted stirrups to keep bearers in place with blocks between to provide weight bearing support? The base of the bearers would almost be at ground level.

    The current plan is to use H4 treated pine for the bearers (and MAYBE for the joists). Decking will be spotted gum held down with a clip system ("InStyle Decking" from Urbanline - a Hervey Bay local company. Expensive but looks good - and easy to lift up if I need to clean up underneath.)

    Would it be appropriate to do away with bearers altogether and place joists directly on the ground (or on blocks) with subsurface drainage?

    Hope you can help.

  2. #2
    Old Chippy - 4K Club Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Canberra
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    63
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    5,540

    Default

    Bearers on ground or on blocks or on concrete pads is fine so long as H4 or H5 treated. The structure that size once completed will not move - just care as you construct and get a some of the sub structure tied together. This sort of deck is very easy and straightforward as no holes and lining up of stirrups etc. Search on my posts and you'll find more detail on how I think. Just noticed you are replacing pavers - just build the deck on top - a few carefully drilled holes and ankascrewed brackets (not many) will hold bearers in place - bearers & joists can be all 90x45s with some blocking to get you to the right height.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  3. #3
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Hervey Bay
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    Default

    Would love to go right onto pavers BUT that would cover the exposed slab (only have 100mm above the pavers to the bottom edge of the wall cladding). Since we have already had one termite infestation in the house (caught reasonably early fortunately), I am a bit paranoid about about doing this.

    Will read through your postings and hopefully not have too many Qs! (Got long service leave for several weeks coming up, so the deck is my leave project.)

    Thanks

    Alan

  4. #4
    1K Club Member Pulse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Newcastle
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    1,261

    Default

    just stop the deck 100mm short of the house and fill the gap with a few decorative pebbles, you still will have the slab visible and the deck will be the same height as the floor.

    Cheers
    Pulse

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