While re-levelling my rear sliding door area, I had to remove the existing deck and repair the surrounding outer walls. Whenever it rained, water would accumulate below the deck, and I was concerned that water would flow underneath the house and cause damage to the foundation.
I built the new decking with an inbuilt planter box without a base to allow rainwater to get soaked up by the soil in the planter.
I was going to build the planter box at the same level as the deck, but my sister suggested making it higher and installing vertical slats on the planter box. I used 105mm x 19mm x 5.4m Merbau for the deck and made my own vertical slats using the Merbau decking timber. I painted the planter box black so that the vertical slats would have a better finish, without the lighter colour of the framing timber popping through.
I also added a wide board on top of it, which can be utilised as a seat.
Before and after
How to build a low-level deck
A low-level deck can pose a range of potential design and installation problems, with particular challenges around ventilation, drainage, termites and rotting. But it doesn't have to be a difficult project once you take the time to understand the basics of how they are put together.