How deep do you have to dig for deck posts?

How Deep Do You Have To Dig For Deck Posts?

There are many different types of decks. There are wooden decks, concrete decks, steel deck, metal deck and even fiberglass deck. Some of them require less or more digging than others. When it comes to digging for decking you need to consider the type of soil conditions and what kind of soil you’re working with when deciding how deep to dig for your decking project.

Wooden Decks: Wooden decks are made from wood. They require very little digging because they don’t have any nails or screws to break up the surface. If you’ve ever dug around a wooden deck, you’ll notice that there’s no way to get all the dirt out of the hole except by hand. Most people use shovels or other heavy equipment when digging around wooden decks since they tend to be sturdier than other types of soils.

Concrete Decks: Concrete decks are made from concrete. They require a lot of digging because they have lots of nails and screws to hold together. These types of decks require more effort than wooden decks, but they’re much easier to work with than steel or aluminum ones. Steel and aluminum decks aren’t too hard to dig around, but they take a long time since you have to go in at least three feet down into the earth before you start getting anywhere.

How deep should deck posts be in the ground?

How deep should wood deck posts be in the ground? The easiest way to answer this question is by using feet and inches. Decks are made up of joists which run perpendicular to the boards of the deck. The top of these joists (where the board rests) need to be at least 16 inches above grade (the height of the surrounding land). This is important for two reasons.

How to Dig for Your Deck: To dig the hole for your decking, you’ll need to find out exactly how deep the frost line is in your area. You’ll need to look this up before you start digging your hole or you could end up with a big mess and have to start all over again. Check with your local government about when is the best time of year to dig into your soil.

Last is getting all the tools together that you’re going to need. This should include (but is not limited to) a shovel, pick, rake, wheelbarrow, rope, flashlight, and a friend (or two).

How deep should a deck post footing be?

The distance between the top of your concrete footing and the bottom of your wood posts base needs to be at least six inches. This six inch depth makes sure that the wood does not contact the wet soil below. This prevents termites from entering your deck and causing damage. So, six inches is the absolute minimum; however, most professionals recommend ten inches.

This increases the strength of your posts.

Decide how large you want your deck to be. Measure out the dimensions of your deck on the ground to determine how many posts you’ll need and where to place them. Remember to leave an expansion gap between the deck and the house (at least one foot). Also, leave at least a three-foot area between posts.

How deep should a patio footing be?

The depth of your footing will depend on the load that is placed on it. For a small deck like you might have in your backyard, you can get away with a 4-inch footing. If you’re building a large deck that will have a lot of people on it, you’ll need to go deeper. A minimum of 6-inch footing is recommended but 8 inches is even better.

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How to Build a Deck: Tools and Materials Needed

Deck Framing Footings

Find where you want to place your deck. If your house has a concrete or stone footing, place the deck within 18 inches of the house. This is the required distance between the lowest part of the deck’s bottom surface and the highest part of any building that shares a common foundation. Using a measuring tape, determine where to place the outermost joists.

Mark the locations with stakes.

How to Build a Deck: Framing

Excavate the footings for your deck. The depth of these footings will depend on whether or not your house is on sand or solid ground. A minimum of 12 inches is required if you’re on sand, while 24 inches is required if you are on solid ground. Mark out the locations for your posts with stakes and string.

How to Build a Deck: Framing

Dig the footings. This is the most labor intensive part of the project, but a little planning ahead of time will make things easier. Check your local building code for the depth requirements of your deck’s footings. You’ll need to dig down at least 12 inches (and probably more) to meet these minimums.

If you’re building on sand, you can use a pick and shovel to dig out the footings. Start by digging a 12-inch square hole. The depth of this hole will ultimately be the depth of your footing, so keep digging until the bottom of the hole is at the required depth (12 inches for sand). For solid ground, you’ll need to rent or bring in a jackhammer to break up the ground and dig out the footings.

Insert metal posts into the holes. Make sure the tops of the posts are at the proper height, and that they extend a couple of inches above the ground.

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Lay out the locations for your joists. They should be least 16 inches on center (OC), but 24 inches is preferable. Mark each joist location with a piece of wood or nail.

How to Build a Deck: Framing

Lay the first joist. There are various ways of doing this: You can have one person hold the board and another put down the joist hanger, or you can put two temporary stakes on either end of the joist to hold its position.

Attach metal joist hangers to the top of the joist. These will support the weight of the deck. Using a speed square and hammer, drive the top lip of each hanger tightly against the side of the board. Make sure it stays perpendicular to the board.

Drive two 6-inch metal spikes through the holes in the hangers and into the beam below.

Lay out the rest of the frame. Keep a 16-inch (or 24-inch) space between each joist. Since metal joist hangers come in packs of two, you’ll have one extra. Save this in case you have to make any adjustments for your last joist.

Nail or screw the joists together using metal joist nails and a nail gun or deck screws and a power drill.

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