How to Build a Ground Level hugging Deck

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Do you want to make the ground level hugging deck ? There are different types and shapes of decks that you can make on your patio. But the ground-level decks are more attractive as it doesn’t have any up and down ladders. It is the best way to keep all the animals away from your deck and stop them from entering under the deck.

In addition, the ground level decks are also less expensive as it doesn’t have any railing. It works as the bridge between your home and your yard. You can give a convenient height to the ground hugging deck, but only if required in certain conditions. However, it also provides an attractive look and enough space to build outdoor living spaces.

First, knowing about the ground level deck and how you can build them is essential. You can hire professional deck makers to construct a ground-hugging deck. But here, we will share the best practice and step-by-step guide with complete requirements to build the ground hugging deck.

So let’s give into ground level deck ideas

What is a ground level hugging deck?

The ground hugging deck is a ground-level deck with less than 24  to 30 inches. However, you can also make the height less than this but ensure the considerable choices according to your yard condition and house requirements.

Can you build a deck directly on the ground?

Yes, making the ground hugging deck directly on the ground without a few inches is no difficulty. But it would help if you considered some conditions like the right choice of ground contact work, substructure, and height. Technically as we already know, the ground hugging deck must have a height of 24 inches, but you can also keep it less than 8 inches if you want to make the deck directly on the ground.

The deck is less than 8 inches and doesn’t require any ladders or stairs. The lowest height is easy to climb, even for older people. The material selection in making a ground-hugging deck is one of the critical thing. If you utilize the wrong joist and beam material, it has less life and quickly starts rotting.

A step-by-step guide to building a ground hugging deck ideas

The ground-hugging decks are more attractive than all other deck types. Therefore it is essential to select the ground area that is most admiring. You can choose a place with a whole and better view. Moreover you can also prepare the site with some new additions to bring an elegant look.

Here is the step-by-step guide for building the ground-hugging deck, from planning to final deck preparation.

Plan your ground hugging deck

It is essential to start building the ground-hugging deck with proper planning. Start considering the visuals or imaging of the place with the deck platform and how it will assess your yard terrain. The deck is always away from the house area, so you don’t have the consider the door clearance. Besides that, it is better to plan the drainage system below the deck. It is good if your ground has a slope for water sewerage.  The expert deck makers always recommend building the ground-hugging deck in well-ventilated areas to ensure its long life.

Suitable material for ground hugging deck

Always remember that the ground-hugging deck needs to be low, so you must consider the materials carefully. The wood and composite are famous for making the deck. If your deck frame is less than six inches or buried partially in the ground, then pressure-treated wood is a better choice. It can withstand ground contact for a longer time. The pressure-treated wood contains a high level of preservatives that are effective for decay and rotting.

You can only consider the composite material for making a deck if you are building a deck with one or two stairs height.

Ventilation of ground level deck

The ventilation for a ground level deck is essential. It is a fact that the ground can sustain the dampness after getting wet. The damped ground gives the perfect conditions for mold, decay, and rots. Therefore it is essential to make enough ventilation for your ground hugging deck to boost the drying of the ground and reduce the chances of breakdowns and decay under your deck. So if your ground hugging deck is less than 12 inches high, you must plan the open perimeter for unrestricted airflow. It helps the ground to remain dry under the deck and lasts long for years.

Foundation and leveling of deck

Start making the foundation of your ground hugging deck. You can make the foundation by placing the concrete corners at all deck corners. Moreover, the leveling of the deck is an essential step. You can set the structure of your ground-hugging deck on the top of the gravel to ensure proper water drainage.

After that, put all the stakes on the ground and string the parameters. Ensure to use the stakes for making the level line. Once you are sure about the level of your deck and its outline, you can lay the beams for a better foundation.

Lay the beams

The beams under the ground-hugging deck are essential. Once you level the deck outline, start laying the beams on top of concrete blocks. Ensure that the beams are at enough height for proper ventilation. However, the beams under the deck will act as the frame that directly connects with the ground.

Once you put all the beams, measure them diagonally and tap to line them correctly. You can also use the temporary stretches for holding the beams at specific places. The temporary stretchers, made of wood, are readily available in the market and act as a prop for lining up the beams. However, ensure to use the pressure-treated shims under the beams. It helps maintain the level for a long time, even if it bears a heavy weight. If you think the level is not good, then you can add the additional gravels to maintain the ground level. Once you have leveled the ground, the deck will also have a better level.

Attach the anchors

The next step is to add the joists or anchors after leveling the beams, ground, and deck. First, you must attach the angle brackets at the corners where joists meet the beams at the deck corner. These angle brackets are a way to provide additional support in the corner of the ground hugging deck.

Once you attach the anchors or joists, use the string level again to ensure the even level of the deck with the terrain.  

Attach inner joists

Now you need to attach the inner joists to ensure the deck’s stability. Attach the hangers and fasten them into beams. Ensure that it faces the beam at regular intervals for its better functioning. Moreover, it would help if you also used the recommended spacing by the expert deck manufacturers. It will give you a clear idea of how your deck will lay on the ground and act as a ground hugging deck.

If you want to add the stairs to your deck, consider it at this step. Keep in mind that the ground hugging deck does not have stairs. But if you want to add one or two ladders, you can consider their place while attaching the inner joists with beams.

Lay the ground hugging deck

Now you have a deck shape and need to resemble the structure according to your imagination. Ensure to be careful at this step and correctly line up the stepped lining. Take the length of your deck and start lining up from the edges. It will help you to make an even deck surface. After installing the deck lines, you need to install the decking boards with joists in perpendicular positions. Ensure that the deck boards have a secured structure with your deck. Moreover, when installing the deck boards, carefully place them according to ventilation gaps.

Edges trimming

Now your ground hugging deck is almost ready after installing the deck lines. You need to trim the deck line if there is any overhanging. You can use the circular saw for edge trimming as it will help you to make the even and needed edges. Ensure to clean the wood ends and remove all the discarded portions properly.

Now you can relax with the new addition to your yard. The ground hugging deck is ready for adding the seating and refreshment corner.

Add Stairs (optional)

Adding stairs with a ground level deck is an optional choice. As we already know, if you want to build the ground hugging deck with some height, you can add one or two steps. You can add the hang stringers for adding the stairs with your deck. Attach the stringers from the deck joists by using the metal angle brackets. It will help add the steps to your deck and give a good look.


Now you can build your ground hugging deck according to your choice and make your yard attractive. It is always great to make the right choice for deck material that can last long for years. 

We hope this guide will help you in the best possible way to build your ground hugging level. 

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