Is a Ground Level Deck a Good Idea? 9 Factors to Consider

September 29, 2023

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So you're thinking about building a deck. Not just any deck, but a ground level deck. This type of deck sits right on the ground rather than being elevated above it. A ground level deck can be a great addition to your home if done right.

But is a ground level deck a good idea for your home? A ground level deck can be a great addition if you want easy accessibility, lower cost compared to elevated decks, and to maximize limited yard space. However, a raised deck may be preferable if stunning views, privacy, moisture protection, or aesthetics are higher priorities.

Here are 9 factors to consider when deciding if a ground level deck is the right choice:

1. Accessibility

One of the biggest perks of installing a ground level deck is that it's accessible. There's no need to climb steps to enjoy it. This makes it ideal for families with small children, elderly family members, or those with mobility challenges. Easy access is a major plus.

is a ground level deck a good idea

2. Cost

Building a ground level deck is often cheaper than building a raised deck. You save money on things like railings, stairs, and structural work needed to elevate it. This can be a big consideration if you're on a budget. Just keep in mind it still won't be cheap — decks of any kind require an investment.

3. Is a Ground Level Deck a Good Idea? Consider its Purpose

Think about how you plan to use the deck. If you want a space for dining and entertaining, ground level could work perfectly. It creates an easy flow from your home's indoor gathering spots to the outdoors. But if you like sitting out there just to relax and enjoy the views, an elevated deck may be better.

4. Material Options

Ground level decks allow more flexibility with decking materials. Pressure-treated wood is common, but you can also choose composites that can handle ground contact. Tile or stone are great options, too. Just mind drainage so water doesn't pool on the deck.

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5. Yard Space

If your yard space is limited, a ground level deck maximizes use of the square footage you have. Raising it up eats into open yard area. Evaluate how an elevated deck would impact your property if space is tight.

6. Privacy

Something to think about is privacy. An elevated deck allows you to overlook fences into neighbor's yards. A ground level deck may feel more private for both you and them. If privacy is a concern, ground level may be the way to go.

7. Drainage and Moisture

Pay close attention to drainage and moisture. Ground level decks are more vulnerable to standing water, soil erosion, vegetation overgrowth, and poor drainage. Make sure the land has proper grading and the deck itself is built to mitigate moisture risks.

8. Appearance

Personal preference plays a role here. Some people like the look of a raised deck, while others think a ground level deck has a cleaner look. Consider the overall look you want for your home's exterior. One option may fit your aesthetic better.

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9. HOA Rules

If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, double-check the rules about decks. Some prohibit ground level decks, while others have restrictions on materials used. Don't get stuck with a deck you can't build, so know the rules upfront.

The Verdict on Ground Level Decks

At the end of the day, there's no right or wrong answer on ground level decks. Each home and homeowner has different needs. If accessibility, cost, yard space, or privacy are your top concerns, a ground level deck could be an ideal fit. But if amazing views, protection from moisture, or fitting your home's look matter more, going elevated may be the best route.

Weigh the pros and cons carefully for your specific situation. If done right, a ground level deck can be a wonderful addition to your home. Just be sure to think through all these key factors first before making a decision. That way, you can build the perfect deck to match your lifestyle and needs!

About RI Deck & Patio Builders

RI Deck & Patio Builders specialize in designing and constructing beautiful, high-quality decks and patios. With decades of experience, they can handle all types of projects, including ground level and elevated decks. Contact the team at (401) 756-1155 to get a no-cost consultation for your ideal outdoor living space.

 

FAQs

What are the cons of ground level decking?

Ground level decks are more prone to moisture, drainage, and overgrowth issues since they sit directly on the ground. These types of decks also offer less privacy and inferior views compared to elevated deck designs.

What are the benefits of a ground level deck?

Ground level decks provide easy access for those with mobility challenges, young children, and elderly family members, as there are no stairs to climb. Also, ground-level decks are more affordable to build than elevated deck designs that require additional structural supports and railings.

How do I keep my ground level deck from rotting?

To prevent rotting, ensure proper drainage so water doesn't pool under the deck. Use moisture-resistant building materials like pressure-treated lumber or composite decking. Also, allow adequate ventilation under the deck so air can circulate freely to prevent moisture buildup.

What is the best material for a ground level deck?

Pressure-treated lumber is a popular choice for ground level decks because it is durable and resistant to moisture damage and rotting. Composite decking is also ideal for ground level decks as it is fade, stain, and moisture resistant while requiring virtually no maintenance.

Can I build a deck directly on the ground?

You can build a deck directly on the ground as long as you use moisture-resistant and durable decking materials like pressure-treated lumber or composites and implement proper drainage and ventilation to prevent rotting and structural damage.

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