DIY Ground Level Deck Update

I think my husband and I are bonafide weekend warriors now. 

In the last year we’ve spent just about every weekend working on some type of do it yourself project.

These days we’re working on building a ground level deck under our two-story deck. 

We did a whole lot of Googling before we started and are using a mix of techniques to build our deck.

To start we’re building a simple ladder frame. The hardest part of this project is that the ground here is slopped to ensure water runs away from the property properly.

It was a little tough getting the frame level, but we did it. 

We did run into some snafus like, assembling the entire frame, only to realize that although the wood is treated it’s still not intended for ground contact.

Yeah…I read that as I was cutting the last piece of wood to create to the frame.

Instead of adding posts to raise the deck above the ground, we simply covered the ground below the deck with landscaping fabric.

Once we got the frame back in place, we created a rock perimeter around the deck to keep deter snakes and small animals from burroghing under the deck.

The entire project cost us about $250 including lumber and rocks. 

It took us about four weekends to complete the project and we are absolutely in love with this lower deck. The next step is to furnish it and create a comfortable outdoor living space.

Because this is pressure treated wood we won’t paint it right away. It will need about six months to dry out and expand. After that, we’ll paint both decks white.

In the meantime, we’ll work on styling and decorating the deck. I’ll share our progress in a few days.

**Edited to Add** Tour of Our Completed Deck

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for this tutorial! We have the same saw and my husband and I love it too! I am glad you stressed the importance of the clamp..I have seen ours but have never used it…but I will now!

  2. Have definitely bookmarked the Living Website-very inspirational- like you blog ! Thanks for sharing your project with us/ me – looks fantastic.I like and understand fully your topic and bookmark it for future post of you.

  3. What an inspiring post, Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance,and I am surprised why this coincidence did not happened in advance!I bookmarked it.

  4. Hello, I ran across this review while researching a good but inexpensive wood tools for me to purchase. Would you still recommend for this.Will you tell me how I too can participate in that? Montanez

  5. I was planning on building a similar deck this coming spring. I was thinking about using railroad ties or another kind of large square lumber for the joists and digging a trench for them so the decking would sit on top of them right above ground level. Now I may just use regular joists like you (ground contact lumber of course). I plan on going over a sidewalk rather than bust it up. I think I have it figured out but I still have elevation issues trying to deal with the sidewalk and make it meet up with the house door and the garage.
    Yours looks very nice, thanks for encouraging me!
    -Steve
    Chicago

  6. Very helpful. I'd like a very low deck that covers the little too-low concrete patio (which is awash in mud every time it rains) on which my French doors open in back. My idea is to build it much as you did with a shallow ramp just long enough for the doors to clear it as they open. Just wondering if the longevity of project will be limited by the ground contact with the ladder frame.

  7. Very helpful. I'd like a very low deck that covers the little too-low concrete patio (which is awash in mud every time it rains) on which my French doors open in back. My idea is to build it much as you did with a shallow ramp just long enough for the doors to clear it as they open. Just wondering if the longevity of project will be limited by the ground contact with the ladder frame.

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