Ground-level deck – flush beams, cantilever, etc.

In lieu of a patio, my wife’s current idea is to build a ground-level deck. Being most comfortable with wood, I am OK with this, as I can do it without even needing any help. Well, that is, past the design phase.

The deck (or rather, wooden patio) will be the following: 12’x20′, directly underneath our elevated deck, and then a 12’x19′ area next to it (so 12’x39′). However, the 19′ foot area will have a trapezoidal bumpout (the corners, at 12′ from the house, will go out four feet). So the furthest point is a straight line 11′ wide.

I don’t care for the deck blocks as I don’t feel they’re very secure. I will do poured footings – concrete is cheap, and I have the occasional night or weekend to dig and pour. No big deal. That said, where would you put footings? I have three deck posts potentially in the way (approximately 10′ from the house, supporting the ledger deck).

I plan to do flush beams as the height between grade and the deck level is only about 6″, so I want to use 2×8 or 2×6 joists with doubled beams of the same nominal dimension (set on the footings, no posts). This minimizes both the digging and the height above grade. I know I should be able to cantilever near the house (that’s all one height), but for flush beams I can’t cantilever the trapezoidal bumpout portion (or can I)? It seems silly and I should just put two additional footings 11′ apart, no?


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