A.Craig Savage responds: In a word, our
answer is masonry. Most of the decks we build sit on hillsides.
This means the pool — a cistern built of rebar and
gunnite — sticks out of the ground, and is supported on
"table legs," or concrete caissons that typically run 50 or 60
feet down. Around this structure, we build a wooden deck on all
sides. As a surface decking material, we always use some type
of masonry. We typically use brick or sandstone flagstones. But
slate or just plain concrete would do as well.
We hang the deck ledgers right off the pool and run our
joists sloping at 1/8 inch per foot from the pool edge to the
outside perimeter. We then deck the framing with
Over the plywood we lay down some type of rubberized
membrane. We typically use Miradri (Mirafi, 3500 Parkway
Ln., Suite 500, Norcross, GA 30092; 404/447-6272) — a
rubberized asphaltic membrane with a paperbacked adhesive that
sticks to the plywood. This comes in 3-foot-wide rolls and goes
Along the perimeter of the deck we run a plastic channel
drain, such as NDS Micro Channel (National Diversified
Sales, P.O. Box 6038, Camarillo, CA 93011; 805/389-6700). In
section, this plastic drain material has the same dimensions as
a 2x4. Along the top edge are slots, so we install it on edge,
then float our masonry flush to the top, as shown in the
Craig Savage is a builder in Carpinteria, Calif.