How Do You Prepare the Ground Under a deck?

So you’ve got your designs, your building permit, and all the motivation you need to start working on a new deck addition to your home.

However, now that you have completed the design process, you must complete certain basic preparations before you can begin putting the building together. We are referring to the preparation of the ground that will be right beneath your decking structure.

While this procedure may appear time-consuming, investing the necessary effort now will ensure that the deck remains safe and attractive for many years to come.

Removing Vegetation

Pulling weeds, everyone’s favorite childhood duty, is the first order of business this week. Draw a rough outline of the general area where you intend to build your deck, then clear away all plants and anything else that is not directly related to your construction design.

Weeds, grass, shrubs, trees, rocks, and even other constructions, if any, are considered part of the landscape.

The construction of a more sophisticated deck may involve working around existing trees or boulders; however, if this is not part of your plans, remove the obstruction and begin your project with a clean slate.

Marking the Utilities

The next stage in prepping the ground beneath your deck is to contact your local utility providers and request that they do a survey of the area beneath and surrounding the proposed project.

This is critical to ensuring that any foundation work does not cause damage to the utilities, which can be both dangerous and expensive if it occurs. For a very little cost, if not for free, most of these firms will come to your home and label their pipes, cables, or sewage lines in your backyard.

Drawing the Outline

Now that the grounds have been cleaned and you are aware of the exact location of your utilities, you can measure and label the deck’s exact proportions. Mark the height and breadth of the deck where it connects to your home to get a sense of where to start.

Using strings that are securely pulled across batter boards, you can then make the tiny modifications that will give you the precise configuration of your deck.

Making the Slope

You will also want to ensure that your structure has a moderate and regular slope so that water and other drainage do not collect under it or at the foot of the building. A pitch of approximately two inches for every foot of length should be sufficient to ensure efficient drainage.

Placing Footings

Start started on the right foot with your decking! Before installing the right bedding, you need dig a hole and set all of your footings in the ground.

Waiting until after you’ve laid down the various bedding materials can make excavating the holes for your foundation much more difficult and time-consuming.

Having to go through the gravel and other materials that you just finished placing down is not something you want to have to do.

Bedding Materials

You’re almost finished with your work! Once the footings are completely dry, you may finish the ground beneath your deck by adding the appropriate bedding.

One of the first materials to be added is some coarse sand, which is optional but will aid with drainage under the deck. The next step is to lay the landscaping fabric down on the ground.

Landscape fabric is woven in such a way that water may soak through and avoid pooling, but it still creates a strong barrier against plants that will develop below your deck and become difficult to manage in the future. Once you are finished, cover the cloth with gravel and you are ready to go!

Conclusion

After finishing the bedding, you will have completed the ground preparation and will be ready to begin construction on the deck.

The most exciting part is still to come, but you can be certain that your preparations have set the stage for the best possible possibility of success.