Level ≠ Flat

Here is the engineering challenge. How do you match the height of a finished 60′ W x 17’D deck to that of an existing tilting brick porch that sits on top of a sloping hill? Here’s what I started with.

The brick porch section at the top of the center stairs is the portion that we are integrating into the wooden porch. The stairs will be covered by the front extension. The large pots will be moved under the lights on either side of the door. This is a freestanding deck so nothing will be attached to the exterior brick of the house. This preserves the historic value of the design and can be removed later if desired.

I must first dig out and pour 26 concrete footers each 2 feet deep 

by 8″ in diameter. On top of these are metal brackets that secure 6″x6″ posts to the concrete footer. The posts are cut to the correct height and notched before placing them in the bracket. The notch holds 2  2×10″ beams that have been nailed together to support the deck joists that form the frame to attach the final layer of decking boards. Each post must be cut to have the final deck height the same as the existing porch. Using a line level I measured the height from each concrete footer to what would be level with the existing porch. After subtracting the thickness of the joist and decking, I had the correct height of the beam for that footer.

Elizabeth & Mark with an auger

Mixing Concrete

Concrete Footer with metal bracket

Using line level to measure post height to match porch

Line level with string

Posts on footings with porch level in background

Beams added to posts

All beams complete 60′ across

Greatest helper in the world placing joists for the final framing

The right side of the porch joists is complete except for the rounded corner. The center and left side have all of the boards laid out for the next days work. That will make it easier to complete. Carrying 55 2x8x16’s is not an easy task in the Georgia heat with 98% humidity.