After some discussion and seeing a platform deck on a friend's house we decided that was the route to go with ours. We liked the look and on top of that it was cheaper (over $1,300 less) than a similarly sized one elevated one with stairs. After getting some quotes we went with the father of a friend from college that owns a deck building company.
Before photo. The steps are a set I built last summer.
The weekend before the build started.
Digging the post holes. For the holes further away from the house the posts sat on those large concrete blocks.
The holes against the house were dug down to the foundation footer and the posts sat on those.
All the lumber needed. (It was less than I expected.)
Close up of one of the post holes showing the different layers of dirt.
Day 1 progress. Posts and outline frame completed.
Day 2 progress showing the completion of the frame.
End of Day 2. The diagonal placement of the boards looks so much better than if they were laid straight.
Day 3: The finished deck.
To say we're happy with the results would be a vast understatement. The builder, Jerry Clay, did an amazing job and it was clear he took a lot of pride in his work and making sure it was done correctly. The diagonal look really sets it apart and I'm told by others takes more experience to do right. Now we just need some furniture for it.