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Deck Build That Is MORE Than “Meets The Eye”

Check out this BEAUTY of a deck! From the pictures, it certainly looks like another one of our amazing maintenance-free deck projects. But without question there is f-a-r more than “meets the eye” in this project! We encountered and overcame some extra hurdles that we don’t have to jump through typically.

This beautiful lake house is built really close to the lake, with a marsh between the house and the lake. Soil conditions and some poor framing techniques added up to quite the structural problems for the house AND the deck… Some of the deck footings were sinking, while others were being heaved right out of the ground by the frost. The dilemma with the footings in turn was pushing up some of the roof lines and creating all sorts of problems. All because back in the 90’s—when this home and original deck were built—construction codes weren’t as strict as they are today.

Deck AFTER

 

Deck BEFORE

We were excited to tackle the project for these repeat Clients! After some head scratching, our team puzzled it out and went to work to address the many underlying issues that were causing such problems. Starting from the inside and working our way out, first, we fixed some framing issues. Next we tore into the overhangs to better understand how the bad deck footings were affecting the roofline.

We tore off the deck. Dug out the old deck footings. Corrected the roof lines and overhangs. All the while we had to be ever-mindful that we needed just enough frost in the ground so our heavy equipment would not sink, but not too much frost or we wouldn’t be able to drill for the helical piles. Today’s helical piles provide foundational support for structures of all types and sizes. Just as with old-fashioned pile-foundations, helical piles (also referred to as screw piles, helical piers, and helical anchors) are embedded deep underground in order to disperse the weight which sits atop them.

We pushed the piles as much as 22 ft. down into the ground. This achieved the compressions needed to ensure the weight above would never sink or heave again. At somewhere over five times deeper than the original footings, this super-compression system could support an entire house. Exactly what was needed! And finally, we built an amazing, maintenance-free deck and railing system, complete with a dog gate!

Along the way we also replaced the roof. Ahhh. No more worrying about their deck sinking into the ground and causing a domino effect of damage to their home! Instead, our Clients can relax and truly enjoy their lake home and awesome view.