Freestanding Vs Attached Decks: A Comprehensive Comparison

5/5 - (1 vote)

Freestanding decks are convenient and flexible pieces of outdoor space to move around if necessary, providing great flexibility for homeowners with young children or elder family members who may require frequent changes to the outdoor space.

Freestanding structures differ from ledger-framed decks in that they’re supported by buried concrete footings instead of leaning against ledgers, sometimes requiring diagonal bracing to avoid uplift. Care must also be taken when placing and aligning posts when designing these structures.


Most people picture attached decks when they hear “deck,” but there are other types available as freestanding solutions on your property.

These decks are not attached to a home and may be constructed either above the ground or directly on it, providing space for relaxation or entertaining guests. Sometimes these decks may even be integrated with pools or other outdoor structures for additional functionality. When selecting the ideal type of deck for your backyard, take into consideration both your needs and style of house as an indicator.

Building a freestanding deck requires careful consideration and precise execution, especially since its posts form its foundation. This is especially important in high-rise freestanding decks built on piers; their posts must support deck joists, beams and pergola rafters without shifting. Although this style doesn’t necessitate digging ledger board trenches or footings as required in other deck types – still, check local codes for regulations as these may vary based on where it will be built.

Freestanding decks also cost less to construct due to not needing additional framing for compliance with building code standards.


A deck’s structural frame plays an essential role in its safety. A poorly built framing can compromise its strength, leading to collapse or injury, so using high-quality materials and adhering to industry standards are vitally important for its integrity. Joists must be properly sized and spaced so as to evenly distribute loads across them; additionally, properly connecting ledger boards to houses through bolted connections will improve safety significantly; traditionally nails were often used instead due to lack of holding power; it may be wiser to switch out for faster fasteners or fasteners altogether for improved holding power and increased holding power from bolted connections for more reliable fasteners or fasteners for improved hold power from fasteners or fasteners altogether.

Freestanding decks allow more freedom in terms of shape due to not being attached directly to a home, yet require more structural support since it doesn’t rely on house attachment as foundation support. Diagonal bracing may be necessary to reduce swaying; otherwise it could cause injuries for those walking or dancing on it.

An experienced registered residential structural engineer should design any freestanding deck that stands more than four feet off of the ground. A professional can offer advice and show how to avoid common errors like using nails instead of bolts for attaching ledger boards, among others. A structural engineer can also help determine how far away from your house to construct your deck as well as any height restrictions in your neighborhood.


Freestanding decks give you the freedom to build them wherever on your property, providing the ideal place for relaxation and taking in the view. If your backyard borders a vineyard or features an idyllic pond, sitting and watching the sun set behind ripened grapes or birds swooping over water may provide ample entertainment.

If you want to build a freestanding deck, preparation is of utmost importance. Plan out your project, observe local building codes and gather materials. Although this process takes time and money, once complete your deck will stand the test of time! With proper preparation, your deck will remain strong and reliable for many years ahead.

Freestanding decks may be your best bet when using a ledger board is not possible to attach to your home, particularly homes with brick or stone veneer siding. Ledger boards may prove challenging due to flashing issues which make accessing and installing them challenging; freestanding decks are typically easier and less likely to create moisture issues which could potentially compromise the structure of your house. Burying some posts underground also reduces uplift forces caused by wind but requires additional maintenance as weeds or wood-eating bugs may infiltrate into hidden posts which need constant upkeep!


Freestanding decks give you more flexibility when selecting their location, allowing it to be built closer to pools or gardens, or offering breathtaking lake or vineyard views.

However, when building a freestanding deck close to your property line, be mindful of local regulations regarding how close a freestanding deck may come. Building too close could cause issues with zoning laws and encroachment issues if built too closely to your property line.

Freestanding decks can also be vulnerable to uplift due to strong winds. To minimize this hazard, consider installing sway braces beneath your deck joists; these will prevent them from collapsing under their own weight when hit with wind force.

Freestanding decks also require sturdy beams to support their joists, so using a framing plan to ensure that these are evenly spaced and aligned is essential to building one successfully. Once assembled, use a posthole digger or similar tool to dig holes for footings as per plan.

Once you have secured a strong foundation of beams, installation of your deck frame can begin. This requires cutting header joists, installing headers, and lifting it onto the beams – so having someone strong to help is essential!

Leave a Comment