Many times we take a cursory look at our spaces or do a careful inspection and a quick clean sweep and wonder: Can I build a deck over a concrete patio?
The short and sweet answer is yes, you can. In so many diverse and creative ways, of course. As long as you are ready to get your hands dirty and follow practical knowledge.
Aesthetically pleasing spaces aren’t born but made. And they are mostly made out of dirt, grit, and determination.
How To Build A Deck On Uneven Concrete
Adding a deck to your patio can beautify your home in innumerable ways. It’s an attractive hangout for get-togethers and necessary family time. It even goes a long way in adding to your home’s value. Check out if you need a permit to build a patio.
And if you have reliable, sturdy concrete, you’re all set. Concrete, however, cannot easily be moved. So what do you do when it is uneven?
Step One: Measure
Accurately measure out the concrete area before constructing the frame for your deck. Your decking is your choice so that you can build it up to your desired size. It helps to consult some of the relevant standard sizes out there.
Step Two: Lay The Frame
Lay down your decking frame over the uneven concrete. If any part of the frame sags, use support beams and bricks to lift them. If you are constructing a raised deck, adjust the unevenness of the concrete and frame height using the support beams. Also, if it’s not a raised deck, adjust until the deck frame level is satisfactorily leveled.
Step Three: Cut Support Posts
Once you are satisfied with the level, cut out the temporary support posts after measuring each. The measurements must be careful and proper, for they will be instrumental in cutting new permanent support posts. And don’t let the sizes affect the level. Using a power hammer and nails immune to rust, nail the permanent support beams into your concrete base.
Step Four: Nail Deck Frame
Secure opposite corners and use the concrete nails and power hammer to secure the deck framing for better stability and security.
Step Five: Finish up
Level the deck frame with support beams. Attach stringers to the deck frame and fasten the decking around the stringers.
Building A Raised Deck Over Concrete Slab
Sometimes when a slab is damaged, it cannot be adequately fixed up. Therefore, the best bet is to build a raised deck over it. To do so, follow the process below:
Repair cracks and thoroughly clean up all surfaces of the concrete slab. Also, remember that it might take a weekend or two. A more extensive construction might require additional time. Get the tools ready. First off, you’ll need lots of wood. You’ll also need a regular drill, hammer drill, miter saw, regular saw, screwdrivers, flashing tape, nails, glue, silicone, and wood sealers.
Start by marking the location of the sleeper on the concrete patio. A standard decking requires parallel sleepers. A more complex design will require more dozers. There should also be more for the stairs. Since this is an intricate process, it might be a bit time-consuming. But when you are done, run the water that has been stuck in the patio for years out.
Work With Sleepers
After marking the positions where you will install the sleepers on the concrete base, use a hammer drill and drill them into the concrete, use the concrete screws and put the sleepers along a slab border, and let them form a flat base. Sunken patio areas might require time to place the sleepers flatly, but a well-shaped patio will automatically have it easier. Screw down the sleepers to the concrete.
Mark the sleepers and their spare parts and cover them with flashing tape to protect them from water. Install the border over the frame, and use a fascia board to cover it. Cut PVC into strips, make it ½ inch thick, and attach them to the sleepers.
Simplicity is Key
A basic deck means faster installation, and it will cost you less since you don’t exactly need a carpenter’s services. On the other hand, a complex one requires human resources, time, and money. There are two ways to build a raised deck.
The first is by destroying and demolishing the concrete patio and then constructing a wooden one in replacement.
The second is to use the slab as the base and the wood as the top.
A well-maintained and good-conditioned concrete base won’t give you much headache while building a raised deck. But a poorly maintained one would first require repairs.
Can I Put Pavers Over Concrete Patio?
The simple answer is yes, you can. It is quite a reasonably common practice. It’s a beautiful way to upgrade the surface of your concrete patio.
Of course, mortars are preferable and quite advantageous in the process, but it doesn’t mean the installation is impossible without mortars.
It means it would be vulnerable to more cracking and unnecessary drainage issues. Before installing pavers over the concrete patio, there are crucial things to keep in mind.
Let the concrete be in good shape
Hopefully, this should not be an issue if you have maintained your concrete over time and characterized by a smooth surface. There is also plenty of room to add a paver on top of concrete without hazards like tripping or blocking.
Be prepared for issues
Often the installation is fraught with issues. If, for instance, the base under the concrete is failing, it is not advisable to install concrete over it. It needs to be taken out and taken care of. You might need to start from scratch since it is a fundamental flaw.
Installing pavers while ignoring foundational problems will only create more problems. The height of the pavers is something to be attentive about. Some of them might surpass the space, leading to problems like drainage issues, blocked doors, uneven surfaces, etc. Using shorter ones could quickly solve the problem.
Always remember everything to consider when installing pavers, from patterns to cutting, proper spacing out, installing on curves, and leveling. It’s not a job for the fainthearted.
And it’s a job where even the slightest mistake could cost you your time and money or affect your work outlook. So unless you are adept, it might be best to hire a professional.
Can You Put A Wood Deck Over Concrete Patio?
A wooden deck might be all you need if you are looking to spruce up your backyard or old boring concrete. A wood deck is easier than taking up construction from the ground floor.
Inspect a lot of outdoor decking material and choose your best fit. If you are gunning for a warm feel of nature, you will only achieve that with wood or composite decking. Wood is the more traditional one. The one that has been around since time immemorial.
But it is fading in today’s contemporary world because most people realize that it has an expiration period. And when that period arrives, wood fades, dries, or rots. One of its significant advantages is that it is more affordable than composite.
Can I Put Composite Decking Over Concrete?
Yes. Composite is regarded as the superior choice. It is built from molded tiles or planks and is immune from molding, swelling, splitting, or drying. It has the distinctive advantage of lasting longer than wood too.
They require less maintenance and bring lots of style and practicality to a living space but are quite costly. However, if you can afford it, it is better to go for it.
Concrete patios possess stability and durability, making them the perfect choice for deck tiles. In addition, concrete provides a stable surface for composite decking instead of gravel or sand. Here are a few more reasons to use composite:
If you want to upgrade your house’s value or switch up your space, then composite is the way to go. However, concrete patios lack a specific personality, style, and the easy maintenance composite can give.
If the concrete patio has been beaten down by age and shows wear and tear and cracks, you can easily cover it up with a stylish composite.
Half of the work is already done since there is already a pre-existing concrete base.
Easy Maintenance and Customization
If you are fed up with painting, repairing, or refinishing cracked or discolored concrete, look no further than composite. The installation of composite is a low-maintenance decision that you won’t regret.
Some composite tiles were tailored to withstand direct sunlight, defy time, no stains, easy cleaning, no fading, splitting, or warping. You can display your style through the different colors and patterns if you are naturally stylish.
Once you have composite deck tiles on an existing patio, there are no more annoying weeds growing under the tiles.
Instead of installing composite on gravel or sand, concrete provides a moisture-free base.
Tools Needed for Construction
- Flat Surface
Installing composite deck tiles on concrete requires a solid flat surface. If the surface is uneven, purchase a self-leveling concrete repair product. Please put it on your rough concrete and give it time to dry and seep in. Afterward, continue the installation of the composite deck as planned.
- A Saw
You will need to cut deck tiles to fit the shape and size of your concrete. You can use a chop, jigsaw, table, or circular saw. Most importantly, while operating a saw, always wear protective gear. Always.
Sanding is important for cutting deck tiles and fitting them to the patio. You will need to grind down cut edges and smoothen them. 180 grit sandpaper is the most recommended.
- Water-Resistant Composite Sealant
This is the final thing to use on your composite deck tiles. Yes, it is true that they are very much designed to be strong and resist stains, splitting, warping, and common decking issues. However, if you did cut and shape your tiles, a water-resistant sealant must be applied to the cut edge after sanding to protect against water and weather damage.
What’s your realistic budget? How much can you spend on the whole project? The subject of ongoing maintenance should have a place in your budget even though composite is relatively low maintenance. You can take advantage of cost tools online to arrive at the perfect estimate.
Don’t rule out the possibility of frequent replacement, repairs, or repainting. This would only happen if you don’t choose the suitable material or you don’t choose the right decking that fits your lifestyle. Do you have a large family? Consistent gatherings? You need something lasting, strong, durable, and low maintenance if you do.
What does your outdoor space say about you? More than adding value to your home, it is an opportunity to reflect your true inner style. Explore the variety of colors, patterns, and even custom-designed choices to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
It is advisable to choose a composite deck that is sustainable and recycled. That way, you play a small part in protecting the environment, especially if you are environmentally conscious.
- Stay Protected
Heavy-duty work gloves will protect your hands from scratches. Protective eyewear should be used when sawing; such debris doesn’t fly into your eyes. Be sure to apply sunscreen on your skin before beginning the work, so you don’t become a sunburn victim. Wear a mask over your mouth and nose, so you don’t inhale small tile particles. A rubber mallet will make the tile connection easier and put less strain on you.
How Do I Cover An Old Concrete Patio?
In truth, you have a range of options. You can repair those cracks and repaint or use stain for color and dimension. You can also add pavers for strength, beauty, and durability. Resurfacing is perhaps one of the easiest and less complex options for covering an old patio.
First, clean up your patio if you are resurfacing. Cleaning up your patio with a pressure washer can eliminate mildew, dirt, debris, and all accumulated stains over the years.
Remove moss from cracks and pits using a concrete surface and spend time patching up the cracks. Mix and apply it with a trowel, then leave it on the surface and let it dry.
Remove any standing water, separate the gaps between workspaces, and maintain spaces between slabs while working in manageable sections. Mix the resurfacer and spread evenly with a long-handled trowel. Go over it with a broom or squeegee to get a nice flat finish.
What Is A Floating Deck?
Floating decks are unattached wood decks that rest on the ground. Also known as freestanding decks, they are much easier to construct than the average standard deck, and as long as they are below 30 inches, they don’t require a building permit.
They have become a favorite in recent times because they don’t need depth footings or handrails, and so they are much easier and faster to build.
Is Floating Deck Perfect On Concrete Patio?
Building or constructing a floating deck over concrete has the power to enhance and expand the aesthetics of your living space. With a floating deck, you can transform a drab slab into something eye-catching and transformational.
Floating decks in multi-story facilities add to the curb appeal. They are the best options for apartment complexes that feature outdoor living spaces. They capture the eye of visitors and onlookers and can complement the existing structural design.
According to John Riha from the DIY network, you can build a floating deck over a concrete floor. You won’t need to install a ledger – the framing member and connecting point between the deck and your house.
Also, you will not have to cut the house’s siding, install flashing or keep doing annual checkups on the health and security of the ledger: less hassle and more savings.
Since floating decks are quite low maintenance, they are ideal for the average corporate or business professional who is always busy but seeks the beauty of a deck without maintaining it daily.
If you choose high-quality composite decking material, you can eliminate all the stress of cleaning, sanding, and oiling. Composite decking is attractive and nonporous, and it can quickly be cleaned up with soap and water so you can enjoy spending time with your family at any time.
In addition to enhancing the versatility of your property, floating decks are beautiful and eye-catching in nature. Some composite decking boards are designed with unique patterns at the top and bottom, combining beauty, variety, and durability.
According to the Berryman design group, people can now be super creative with their floating deck designs by opting to construct floating decks around water features as a focal point and functional space.
There are a lot of reasons to use floating decks. And hopefully, the aforementioned few answer the question of whether they are perfect for the concrete patio.
Building a deck over a concrete patio is possible, but the process will require a lot of preparation, close attention to detail, and an eye for sound construction practices.
There is no doubt that it can be done; however, as long as you are willing to work with your contractor to ensure that the design and build meet the general guidelines.
Adding a second-floor deck is difficult and expensive, but a basement is not needed since the concrete slab acts as the foundation. Instead, the deck can be made from pressure-treated wood coated with a weather-resistant sealant to protect it from water.
When building over an existing slab, check the slab for integrity, drainage, frost heave, and unevenness before designing your deck. If the slab seems weak, consult a structural engineer to determine if it can support your weight or any weight above it.