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Landscape Gardening Question
Decking in area with mixed surfaces and levels
I have an area at the back of the house that I want to make suitable for a small children's play area - at the moment it's so uneven. I'm thinking of decking but I can't see how to deck the area. Apologies in advance for the detail.
The area is right outside the back door between the house and a block (pebble-dashed) shed and measures 2.5m (to shed) x 3m (width of shed, aligns north-south). There's a fence to a height of 1.85m on the south boundary of the area (painted reclaimed scaffolding boards between concrete H-posts resting on mass-concrete). The north boundary of the area opens out to the rest of the small garden and a side entrance to the garden along the side of the house at the end of the path.
There is a path that runs along the back wall of the house at a width of about 1m. Off this path along the fence there is a ramp to the shed 1m in length, 1m wide with a slope of 5cm over this distance.
The remainder of the area is a (fairly waterlogged) gravelly rectangle which has the same slope at the ramp and is c. 3cm below the path. I am going to dig in a soak away in the corner between the ramp to shed and the path and have already redirected shed guttering to a drain which should deal with the waterlogging.
There is a step right outside the back door 20cm deep and 15cm above the path. Ideally, the decking would be at the level of the step, or covering the step, to maximise the space we have available.
I used a laser measure sitting on the step (+4cm to beam, which would roughly equate to decking board + spacer) to determine that:
- the shed floor is 14cm below the level of the laser
- the path / ramp corner is 25cm below the beam and
- the ramp / shed corner is 20cm below the beam
I don't know how to deal with the shed being below the level of the deck and how to interface the decking with the ramp without water running into the shed - do I taper the framework going up the ramp - at some point it's going to get very thin!
Is the height of the fence at the south side going to cause a problem with fungus, etc.
I see online that posts in the ground would require a post mix foundation but can I just rest the framework on the concrete path where I have that underneath (or prop it up to the height I need with the prop resting end-grain down on the concrete).
To engage a pro to do this I will need to have some idea of what needs to be done so I would appreciate any help or advice you can offer. I have photos of the area which might better describe it but I can't attach these here.
If you read this far, thanks!
Without seeing photos it is a little difficult to understand but I'll try and answer a few questions.
Generally you do anchor posts into the ground using a postmix but if there is a hard standing already in place it can be used to prop posts up upon. Any other post in an area where there is soil would need to be dug down and fixed. I wouldn't prop 4 corner posts of a deck on a hardstanding however as it needs somewhere to be fixed to the ground to make sure it is sturdy.
Decking in a shady area will become damp and have some sort of fungus grow upon it over time. Wood is notoriously very slippy when left damp so be careful that you are not planning to install and ice rink!
Its difficult to fully understand the shed issue but one option may be to step the deck half way between the house and shed. This would resolve the issue of the deck meeting the door as you can effectively step it down to meet the door. If the deck is running towards the shed/shed door I would be sure to install some sort of drainage even if it was a 100mm between shed and deck shingle trap.
Hope this helps.
Answered 3rd Apr 2018