I am just wondering what is the approximate cost of constructing a freestanding 16'x16' deck? The deck will be about 2-2.5ft above ground level, with stairs on both sides. I would prefer the deck to line up with the side of the house, so it is accessible, but not structurally attached to the house.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages of a free standing deck vs one that is attached to the side of the house? Also, FYI the house is 'double brick construction'.
I have attached a picture for reference.
Good morning Arjun,
I believe it always better to build your deck free standing. Built properly with sono-tubes there is no need to attach it to your home.
Any time you create holes in your foundation, walls it is just one more area there is a chance of water penetration, damage and rot.
Based on the picture you provided, a rough estimate on cost for a pressure treated deck would be $7500. That includes the wrap around steps and basic builders railings as shown.
There are 2 types of freestanding decks: Floating and fixed. Floating (not recommended) uses deck blocks or other footings that do not reach the frost line. These decks are prone to seasonal heaving and tend to look bad sooner.
Fixed decks have footings below the frost line which prevent seasonal movement of the deck, keeping it level and straight longer.
The main advantages of freestanding decks are that you can skip the building permits if you are under 2 feet from the ground and under 108 square feet in area. Not punching holes in the exterior wall is also a benefit. The cons are; more footings means higher construction costs. Sway bracing needs to be added. Footings too close to house can cause issues with house footings, and weeping systems.
Most municipalities prefer attached decks to avoid potential problems with the beam closest to house. Double brick construction is great for ledger attachments. Provided the ledger is attached properly with flashing and/or spacers, it is the cheaper/preferred method to carry the rear of the deck.
Hope this provides some insight.
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