Skip to content

Of summer and decks

After extensive discussions in our office this morning, we have determined that the warm bright thing many of us saw throughout Saturday and for portions of Sunday was, in fact, a thing called “the Sun.” Apparently, sightings of this “sun” are common, and is associated with a number of activities, such as swatting mosquitoes, planting gardens and building decks.

We can’t help you with the mosquitoes or the garden, but we can help you with decks. Heck, we’ve got all sorts of deck-related tips.

Like the fact you should use 6x6 posts, not 4x4 posts.

And beams should rest on the top of those posts, not bolted to the sides.

Or that any new deck being attached to a house requires a building permit. Why? We want to make sure a deck attached to a house is supported on some form of below-frost foundation: sonotubes, helicoils or a frost wall.

This deck, built without a foundation, has suffered significant structural damage due to frost heaves.

We could quote Code at you, but instead, look at this picture. This is a picture of a deck, in winter. The yellow lines highlight how much the deck has lifted due to frost heaves. It is not uncommon to see frost heaves lift an improperly-built deck (on deck blocks) by six, eight inches or more during the winter, only to drop (maybe) in summer.

Repeat this cycle a few years, and the end result is a deck that is significantly weakened, putting its users at risk of injury.

We don’t want that. Neither do you.

So the bottom line: please don’t use deck blocks to build your deck if it’s attached to your house (or if it’s freestanding, and taller than 60cm off the ground.)

Questions? If you’re in our service area (St. George, Saint Andrews, McAdam, Harvey and all unincorporated areas from Lepreau to Hanwell) give us a call.