We're just starting to design a replacement deck, to be built by some lucky contractor next spring, and had a question about the minimum height off the ground. Our yard grading sweeps gently down and away from our house, and the current two-level deck has the bottom level flush on the ground, we think with no joists underneath! (Hence, it's rotting?)
Does anyone know the building code for Ontario (Ottawa, in particular) with respect to whether it's a good idea to build the lowest deck level right on the ground, or is there a realistic minimum height that we could go by? This may determine whether the new deck can be multi-level or not, which has tremendous impact on design possibilities. For example, are you required to have a 2x8" joist underneath the deck in all places, and thus the height of the lowest level is most likely 10" off the ground? We could simply design a one-level deck, but I must admit that a two-level deck is more interesting.
Any ideas? Suggestions? Knowledge of deck building code?