Placing The SupportsSupport placement will be determined by the size and shape of your deck. Diagram the deck and check with our article on deck building to determine adequate stability and weight bearing using the tables referenced in the article. Once you've designated the support locations clear the area of debries and mark your support sites .
From there a few easy (to describe) steps will lead you to the beginning of a stable deck.
- Prepare a hole of suitable depth for each support; footings must extend under the frostline. This is usually 24 to 48 inches. take care to avoid underground power or telephone cable. Call the power company if you are unsure of any underground wiring. A power post hole digger can make short work of the digging. They can be rented from most equipment rental places for under a hundred dollars, and can make short work of the digging.
- Fill the hole with five to six inches of gravel.
- Mix the concrete mix as directed on the package.
- Fill the remainder of the hole with the concrete. I like to buy cardboard tubes called sonotubes to use for the top 6 inches of the hole. By cutting 6 inch sections of the tube and placing them at the top of the hole, the concrete can be poured to a level just above the grade, and a nice finished appearance is achieved.
- Place a foundation bolt (at least six inches long) in the concrete. Allow the concrete to harden. Having the bracket in hand, you will know how much of the bolt to leave above the concrete. (Usually about an 1 ½ inch)
- Attach the bracket to the bolt, using a washer and a nut. Tighten securely only after the posts are placed on the brackets and the beams placed on the posts. This will allow you to move the posts this way or that a bit to align all your posts under your beams. Place the plate over the bolt.
- Place the post in the bracket and nail the bracket to the post securely. The brackets come with galvanized, thick nails for securing the post to the bracket.
Connecting the Supports.Once you have completed the placement of the deck supports, you are ready to begin the construction of the deck itself. When bolted to the support beams, the supports will stabilize the deck.
You may want to consult your building materials supplier about alternate brackets. Be sure you have the brackets before you pour the concrete, so you are prepared to place them in the concrete.
Once, I had badly placed the hole (something about a big rock I think) and I needed to place the post near the edge of the concrete support. The concrete had dried by this time and the bolt placement was wrong. I had to drill a hole into the concrete and use an expanding bolt to secure the bracket to the post. The moral of that story is, even with some adjustment allowed, you may not have enough and improvisation has to enter in.
What You'll Need
- Concrete Mix
- Flat shovel
- Brackets (one for each support)
- 4x4 or 6x6 pressure treated lumber
- measuring tape
Quantity Requirements in Pounds(in 80 pound bags)Hole dia. 8" 10" 12" Depth lbs bags lbs bags lbs bags 12" 45 ¾ 74 1 110 1 ½ 18" 67 1 112 1 ½ 166 2 ¼ 24" 90 1 ¼ 149 2 221 3 30" 112 1 ½ 186 2 ½ 276 3 ½ 36" 135 2 222 3 330 4 1/2 48" 180 2 ½ 296 4 440 6
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