In an ideal world, I'd like to attach the deck to the house, but I don't know that it's going to work out like that. The yellow box shows where my existing porch is, and the red box shows where a potential ledgerboard would be. To make it level with the portch, it would straddle the siding and the stone, to make it a good step (6") down, I would have to attach to the stone, but it passes in front of a window where it can't be attached to the house.

Now I'm considering having it free-standing, but butted up to the house or with an inch or so to spare so water isn't trapped anywhere.

This leads to some questions:
1) There's a concrete slab where those old stairs are leaning against the porch, can I put one of the support posts on that slab instead of digging it out and sinking a footer there?

2) If so, how do I lay this out without a ledgerboard and if I can't hammer a batter board into the ground there?

3) How to get around the gutter drainpipe?

4) If I were to bite the bullet and put a ledgerboard into the stone, what about the section in front of the window?

Any advice would be appreciated...