How To Build The Perfect Font Deck

Ready to soak up some rays from the front deck of your off grid cabin?

Imagine relaxing in your favorite Adirondack chair on the front deck of your off grid cabin.

Writing Emails from The Off Grid Cabin Front Deck

The sun shines and a warm breeze slides over your arms while you breathe in the the sweet fresh scent of pine.

Birds are singing as you gaze out through the trees to the glistening lake just beyond.

This is how we built the front deck for our off grid cabin.

Today we cover the step-by-step “how to” of our 8ft x 20ft pressure treated covered deck.

You can fine tune our method or copy it to the inch.

Either way, you’ll end up with a rock solid front deck that will stand the test of time in any weather and in any climate.

It’s fast and easy to build and took us only one day. 

How To Build The Perfect Font Deck

In the last cabin build post we showed you how to build the best foundation for an off grid cabin. 

We finished up the concrete block footings, the three main floor support beams, and the floor joist.

The design considerations for our cabin foundation were…

  • Inexpensive design
  • Can be built in a singe day with just two people
  • Requires no heavy equipment
  • No digging post holes
  • No pouring cement
  • Only requires a level and some basic hand-tools
  • Provides the ability to level the cabin easily during the build and in the future
  • Affords an excellent thermal break for colder climates like ours

This is where we finished off with the foundation last time.

TIP: Always prevent regular lumber from coming into direct contact with cement/concrete by using a scab of pressure treated wood.

Floor joist for off grid cabin done

Designing The Front Deck

The front deck dimensions are 20′ x 8′ and consists of three 6″ x 6″ pt deck posts used to support the steel roof.

The attic space created above the deck will provide a weather proof crawl space/storage area.

The pitch of the main roof will be 12/12 while the portion over the deck will be 6/12.

Different roof pitch ratios

This will aid in snow removal in winter and rain collection in summer.

FYI: The pitch changes from 6/12 pitch (22.5 degrees) over the deck to 12/12 pitch (45 degrees) near the top of the roof . We went with the 12/12 pitch (45 degrees) for the top 6 feet of the roof facing the front of the cabin because this matches our latitude exactly and is the perfect angle required for our solar panels.

Welcome To The Off Grid Cabin Blog Featured Image

We’ll also install two 7 Watt LED pot lights above the deck from inside the crawl space.

Front Deck Footings

Just like the 8 footings for the main cabin floor joist, we used crusher dust and concrete pads to built our footings.

We leveled the ground down to undisturbed soil and then put down a layer of crusher dust to finely level the base.

Then we placed our 24″ X 24″ patio slab paver pads and made sure it was tamped down and level.

Next, we placed 2 cinder blocks side by side to bring the deck blocks up to an approximate height.

You shared the exact blocks and pads we used in our last post How To Build The Perfect Foundation For An Off Grid Cabin right here.

We topped the cinder blocks with scabs of pt wood for a solid surface for the deck block.

TIP: You can fill the cinder block with expanding foam or cement to prevent snow/ice from building up inside and potentially cracking the block.

Lastly we put down our 4-way concrete deck post block.

Off Grid Cabin Footer Block

Framing The Front Deck

Once we finished leveling and installing the front deck footings we then installed the first two 6″ X 6″ deck posts.

We used the exiting pressure treated runners to attach the posts.

After installing the two end posts we can now find the exact center for the middle block and post.

cabin front deck first two posts

Middle deck post installed and leveled.

Notice we’ve installed floor joist bracing using 2×4’s for the main cabin floor joist.

cabin front deck with three posts installed

Securing the front of the deck joist with galvanized lag screws and washers.