How do you line up deck posts?

Asked By: Alva Velert | Last Updated: 16th June, 2020
Category: business and finance civil engineering industry
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Also to know is, how deep do post holes need to be for a deck?

Footings typically must extend below the frost line to prevent shifting during freeze-thaw cycles. Dig footing holes about 6 inches deeper than required. Fill the bottom of the hole with 6 inches of gravel and compact the gravel with a 2x4 or wood post.

Likewise, should I use 4x4 or 6x6 deck posts? A short 4x4 can carry an awfully big load, and many deck builders use 6x6 posts as a standard, regardless of the height or load of the deck. Though the height of a deck is often questioned only in regard to the requirement for guards, it is a factor in determining the height or “span” of the posts.

Likewise, people ask, should deck posts be set in concrete?

A deck post should always be placed on top of footing, not inside concrete because it can break. When concrete is poured around a deck post in this way, the post will rot due to moisture buildup by the soil.

Can I use 4x4 posts for my deck?

In the past, many decks were built with 4x4 support posts (also called structural posts). But these can bow seriously, even if a deck is only 3 feet off the ground. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you use 6x6s instead, even if your building department does not demand them.

34 Related Question Answers Found

Can pressure treated posts be set in concrete?

Simply setting the posts in concrete does create a condition that will accelerate rot in the bottom of the posts. With pressure-treated posts, the rot will be slow. Concrete should be poured around the post - no concrete under the post.

Is 2 feet deep enough for fence posts?

The minimum depth that you should dig your fence post holes for panel sections is 2 feet. A general formula is to dig the holes one-third to one-half of the post's aboveground height. The deeper you dig the holes, the more stability your fence has, but you must also purchase longer posts.

How do you build a deck without digging holes?

Precast piers make it unnecessary to dig holes for your deck.
  1. Set your precast deck piers in a grid, at roughly three- to four-foot intervals.
  2. Measure your grid diagonally from corner to corner, using a measuring tape.
  3. Extend the line level to determine if the piers are level as a helper holds the other end.

How do you reinforce a deck post?

Strengthen post connections with carriage bolts. Drill holes, knock the bolts through, then tighten a washer and nut on the other side. Ideally, posts should sit directly under the beam or rim joist to support the deck.

How do you anchor a deck to the ground?


Drive the anchor into the ground through the plate foundation, checking the level intermittently to ensure it remains plumb. Continue to drive it for 30 seconds after the plate has met the ground in order to compact the soil. Place the post in the bracket, secure it with screws, and then build the deck.

What is a post level?

Post Level. A post level is, simply put, a spirit level that finds both level and plumb in a post or other type of 2x4. It has a simple, easy to use design: two-sided molded plastic forming a 90° angle, a height of 5.5 inches and 3.5 inch width on each side, and three spirit level vials.

How do you level a fence post height?

How to Ensure Consistent Height When Installing Fence Posts
  1. Drive the wood stakes into the ground with the small sledge hammer.
  2. Tie the mason line to the stakes 6 inches above the ground; any measurement will work, but 6 inches will ensure that the line will keep clear from any ground-level obstructions.

How deep should a fence post be?

Dig post hole so diameter of the hole is 3 times the width of the post (i.e., the hole for a 4” wood post should be about 12 inches wide). The depth of the hole should be 1/3-1/2 the post height above ground (i.e., a 6-foot tall fence would require a hole depth of at least 2 feet).

Can you use 2x6 for deck joists?


In general terms, joists spaced 16 inches on center can span 1.5 times in feet their depth in inches. A 2x8 up to 12 feet; 2x10 to 15 feet and 2x12 to 18 feet. The larger the deck, the larger the joists. 2x6 joists should only be used on ground-level decks that do not require, and will not provide for, any guards.

How far apart should deck posts be placed?

Starting with your perimeter, mark the location of each deck post to locate the fitting position. In general, posts should be spaced no more than 8 feet apart. Some builders position them every 4 feet for a completely rigid frame. The maximum distance between footings is determined by the size of your joist material.

How many support posts do I need for a deck?

The larger 12-foot side will have a post spacing of 6 feet at a minimum code requirement. That makes a total of eight posts that need to be installed on this average size deck. For aesthetic or symmetry reasons, more posts may be added.

What size footings do I need for a deck?

Assuming a minimum soil bearing capacity of 1,500 psf, 8-inch-diameter concrete piers bearing on square footings measuring 2 feet on a side and 9 to 11 inches thick are adequate for most single-story decks where beams are spaced 14 feet apart or less and joist spans are 14 feet or less (see table below).

How many bags of concrete do I need for a deck of footings?

60 cubic feet when combined with 4 quarts of water. If you're purchasing 80-lb bags of concrete, you'll need 1.66 bags of concrete. As before, since bags of concrete are only sold in whole quantities, you'll need to purchase two (2) 60-lb. bags of concrete to form one cubic yard.

Does a floating deck need footings?


Freestanding decks that are not attached to a house or other stationary building may use floating footings. If the deck is attached to a house you will be required to install footings below the frost line to prevent the deck from separating from the house when the ground begins to move.

Can I use deck pier blocks instead of footings?

Concrete Pier Blocks for Decks. A deck pier block is in many ways just a simplified version of a “precast foundation”, a foundation type recognized by building codes. They're subject to all of the same requirements as a typical footing, regardless of not being cast-in-place.

Can you use 4x4 posts for a deck?

In the past, many decks were built with 4x4 support posts (also called structural posts). But these can bow seriously, even if a deck is only 3 feet off the ground. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you use 6x6s instead, even if your building department does not demand them.