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A Word About Freestanding Decks

03 August 2019

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-989-9226.  Here’s must-know information from our in-house deck specialist, Luke Panek, shared on 8.3.19. 

Homeowners wanting to build backyard decks in spaces that don’t have enough height between the threshold of their door and the ground, a floating or freestanding deck is often a solution.  The deck is given this name because it raises up and down as the ground freezes and thaws.  Absent of frost-proof footings, this configuration is only acceptable if the deck is not directly fastened to the home.  Many times this style saves money because of the costs saved by not having to install a ledger board dig or footings.  These freestanding decks can be placed near shade trees, can include built-in seating areas and planters.

Tour a Deck & Sun Room Built by Our Team in Cumberland, WI:

Helpful Hints:

-Avoid using cedar decking in this scenario because it will not have an opportunity to dry out, which will lead to rot.

-Opt for treated lumber or cellular PVC, as both are approved for direct ground contact.  (Bear in mind that treated lumber will need to be periodically stained.)

A Word About Using Wood Products:

The timing of the staining has a substantial effect on how well the stain will adhere to the material.  It’s worth nothing that treated wood straight from the lumberyard contains about 70% moisture.  Applying a stain too soon to this material will not work, as the material must dry out before it can accept a stain.  Using a moisture meter can allow you to determine if the pressure treated lumber has reached a moisture level below 10%.  The waiting period for staining will be less with the installation of kiln dried treated lumber which contains significantly less moisture.  In all cases, do not wait too long to stain because once the surface begins to decay, the material will discolor, which will cause the need for a brightener conditioner product which adds to the time and expense needed to complete the process.

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