4 Steps to Install a Wooden Deck Over Your Porch
Both natural wood and composite decking can be installed on top of a concrete porch, but both materials require you to construct a substructure for proper airflow and drainage. The installation project must involve the following steps:
1. Level the surface of the patio – You need to ensure that the surface is even and sloped towards the right angle to provide efficient drainage.
2. Plan the layout – Take a chalk line reel and develop a thorough visual layout of the future substructure and decking.
3. Install the sleepers – The sleepers form the substructure and must create a flat and perfectly even surface for the decking. You can raise low spots using plastic shims or use slanted sleepers to achieve the needed angle. Always use a straight edge to ensure that the surface is even. Pre-drill concrete and use the concrete screws to secure the sleepers and cover them with flashing tape once installed.
4. Install the decking – Once the sleepers are installed, you need to install the decking material in the same manner you would install an average deck. Start by installing the accent boards to make it easier to add field boards.
Take Measurements, Lay Boards Out, and Attach Them
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of building a deck on top of concrete. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Step 1: Take Measurements
Before you can build the deck, you need to decide exactly how big it needs to be. You’ll also want to measure the length and width of your concrete porch so you can figure out how much wood you’ll need.
Step 2: Lay Out Your Decking Boards
You should start with the largest boards first and work your way down to the smallest ones. The larger boards will help support the smaller ones, which is important if you’re using pressure-treated wood. It’s also a good idea to space the boards out, so there’s less pressure on any one board. That way, if one board gets damaged, it won’t bring down the rest of the deck with it.
Step 3: Attach Your Decking Boards
Most people use pressure-treated lumber for their decks, but that doesn’t mean they’ll last forever. Eventually, these boards will rot away, so you must attach them properly from the start.
Lindy Weston Ph.D. is the owner of North Texas Home Design and often designs home additions, remodels, and new home plans.
Use Pressure-Treated Wood and Know When To Consult Professionals
A wooden deck can be placed upon a concrete porch, provided that the wooden deck is not substantially higher than the concrete porch. In this instance, the wooden deck can be “built-up” a number of inches to create a new walking surface, but all wood that is in contact with concrete must be pressure-treated.
If the wooden deck is elevated from the concrete porch, then a new structure is required. A structural engineer or experienced designer is required to ensure the new deck is adequate. In either case, confirm that the new wooden deck elevation is appropriate in relation to the existing interior floor elevation.
If any of the terms, such as “pressure-treated,” are new or confusing, then certainly use the services of a design professional.
Build Your Deck Directly on the Concrete With Spacers
You can put a wooden deck over concrete. Typically, you need to set footers in the ground to support the deck without sagging when you build a deck. If you’re building over concrete, the slab can be your footer.
Keep in mind that if your concrete is settling, the deck will settle with it, and you’ll end up with a sagging deck. If your concrete has already settled and isn’t doing any more settling, you can use the concrete as support without worrying about it sagging.
You can build the deck directly on the concrete using spacers to help even out your plain. You’ll lay 2x4s for your base and drill directly into the wood and concrete. Then, add your decking perpendicular to your base and screw it into the 2x4s.
Tips for Building a Deck Over Your Porch
Aside from being an unattractive sight, an old and cracked concrete porch can pose safety risks too. One way to fix this problem is by covering your concrete porch with a wooden deck.
Here are some of my tips for accomplishing this project:
- Ensure you have all the materials and tools required; choose and use high-quality materials.
- Evaluate the concrete’s current condition, and check for any problems before you start building a deck over your porch.
- Create a layout to serve as your guide and help you construct a securely attached substructure and a durable wooden deck.
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