Building a deck starts with setting a sturdy foundation.
The foundation must be able to support the weight of deck materials and the people who use the deck, so this construction project requires footings.
Here’s your step-by-step guide to building deck footings.
But before we begin, check local building codes to ensure you understand local construction requirements, particularly the deck footings’ smallest diameter and smallest depth. Freeze-thaw cycles can affect the foundation, so footings typically must extend below the frost line.
In addition, protect your eyes and wear waterproof gloves before starting this project. Working with cement-based products can be hazardous — so please practice safety first.
All right — let’s begin!
What You’ll Need
- 80 pounds of Quikrete 5000 Concrete mix or 80 pounds of Quikrete Concrete Mix
- QUIK-TUBE building forms
- 50 pounds of Quikrete All-purpose gravel
- Deck post hardware
- 4-by-4 treated post
- Margin trowel
- Post hole digger
- Measuring tape
- Hand saw
- Carpenter’s pencil
- Mixing tub or wheel barrow (optional)
- Measuring pail
- Safety glasses
Dig the deck’s footing holes. The footing holes should be about 6 inches deeper than what local building codes require.
Fill the bottom of the footing hole with 6 inches of gravel. Next, compact the gravel with a 2-by-4 or wood post.
Cut the building form to size. We measured and marked a QUIK-Tube to match the hole depth. Next, we cut the tube to length with a handsaw.
Place the building form into the hole (with the uncut end of the tube at the top) and then level it.
Pour concrete mix into half of the building form. (Notice how the concrete mix fits right in the QUICK-Tube? That’s why we use building forms!) Use some rebar or a shovel to fill voids and prevent air pockets.
Slightly overfill the form with concrete mix; then use the rebar or a shovel to evenly distribute the mixture. And then level the surface.
Don’t wait — once you’ve leveled the surface, align and inset deck hardware and then smooth the surface of the concrete.
Allow the concrete to cure for one day before constructing your deck or placing heavy weight on the footing (if standard concrete mix was used, wait about three days to begin construction).
Watch the video
Watch this video to see a deck footing installation!
Danny Lipford is among the country’s most sought-after home improvement experts.
The seasoned remodeling contractor and media personality served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s “The Early Show” and The Weather Channel for over a decade and has made more than 180 national television appearances on “Fox & Friends,” “Inside Edition,” “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” Fox Business Channel, Rachael Ray and more.
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