Large Decks in Tiny Township – A Beauty on Bluewater Beach
These large decks needed oversized privacy screens to block the view of a half-built cottage next door. A Bluewater Beach summer home is the site for this giant curved deck right on the beach. It is a large deck coming in at 1200 square feet and features an outdoor shower. We also installed a walled-in dining room. When the wind blows in from the northwest you just can’t be there. Suntan sandblasting winds make it impossible. Solid gates close off that area and give a wind refuge of a dining area.
Giant Privacy Screens
It takes a bit of work and forethought to anchor a giant sail like privacy screen in a deck without it working loose over time. We will release a DIY version of this project soon– leave a note if you would like to see that. We want to give you some details on deck and ground mounting.
Building an 8′ privacy screen is much like building a 6′ fence, however, you need more post, and closer together. If the site is exposed to open wind, it should be tightened up even more. The key is anchoring it into the deck and giving it leveraged support from anywhere you can. Large privacy screens can use footings in the ground or be anchored to the beams supporting the deck. You will need to consult with an expert to create these details in a safe way.
This large curved red cedar waterfront deck features a shower, gated dining room (for windy days) and cascading steps as well. This deck is roughly 1200 square feet and located on Bluewater Beach near Wasaga Beach.
Building Large Decks in Sand
Sand is a different animal for building decks in. Most building departments don’t have good advice to offer. They will often ask for engineered drawings to cover themselves. Basically, because sand shifts and moves around there are 3 ways to deal with it. Much larger footing bases, floating footings or helical footings. Here is how to think about it. When sand is wet or dry, the support numbers change. That means that any footings when pressure changes or they experience vibrations from being overloaded during a party, they will often settle in. So, traditional footings likely shouldn’t be connected to a frost wall if they are in the sand because they will move. Let’s look at each one separately.
Floating Deck Footings
Basically, floating footings are a beam made of concrete with a large footprint. We like to make them full size and give them rebar to support a deck. This keeps the supports level to each other, and even if the footings do settle a bit, you likely won’t notice. This type of footing is not suited to connecting to the home. It should be an unattached deck only.
Traditional Sonotube deck Footings
Traditional deck footings don’t work so well in sand. You have to dig deeper and wider and either pour a base slab 3-4′ wide, or use a bigfoot. I prefer a poured slab…it give a more jagged base to lock things in place.
Helical Deck Footings for Large Decks
Helicals are ideal for sandy soil support for decks. They are engineered, so they keep going down until they hit support. There is no question as to what these footings will support, it is all in the numbers.
We have a design office a few minutes from Wasaga Beach, however, the majority of our work is in the Toronto Area. To see some decks nearer Toronto, Click.
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