build a freestanding cantilevered deck support by parallel beams. around alabama, where eht is headquartered, most decks are connected to the side of a house with a ledger board fastened to the rim joist of the house. when done correctly, this is a strong and code-compliant method of building.
the most common point of failure of a deck is the connection to your house. building a freestanding deck eliminates this potential problem connection. deck water damage. when building a deck attached to your house a board, called a ledger board, is attached to the the house to hold up one side of the deck.
many towns , when in a flood zone, ask for a freestanding deck when house does not comply with fema elevations. also, a caution. many towns require that any footing within 5′ of a foundation/basement wall, require the footing to go down to the depth of the basement footing.
several common situations call for a deck to be freestanding. maybe there’s no supporting structure adjacent, as when the deck is in the middle of a lawn or around an aboveground pool (figure 1). or a deck may have a small connection to another structure, but not enough to borrow any stability from it (figure 2).
deck framing connection guide. this guide focuses on the critical connections involved in deck construction and what the code requires for these areas. it is intended to help designers, contractors, inspectors and do-it-yourselfers ensure that their decks are properly constructed per the international building
every freestanding deck needs a system of connections strong enough to prevent it from collapsing or breaking apart. but avoiding catastrophic failure isn't enough - beyond being safe, the deck should also feel safe. walking on a deck should feel like walking on the ground.
i don’t mean that the deck is all alone out in the yard—just that it doesn’t rely on the house for bracing or support. typically, it touches the house and appears to be connected, but the framing underneath is structurally independent. in this article, i’ll discuss the methods we use to stabilize a freestanding deck.