How to Build a Deck, Part 3: Building and Setting Deck Posts and Footings

How to Build a Deck, Part 3: Building and Setting Deck Posts and Footings
There are various methods of how to set deck posts and footings which typically consists of digging below the frost line and setting posts on concrete. For these steps you will need an earth auger, post hole digger and spud bar, shovel, tape measurer, utility knife, landscape fabric, gravel, concrete, wheelbarrow, mortar hoe, a water source, deck posts and a post level.

To dig posts holes either use a shovel, a post hole digger and spud bar or an auger. An auger will make this task a lot easier, but it does require some strength. Use a shovel to get rid of the excess dirt. Once you have reached the depth required by code move onto the next hole. Lay out the landscape fabric. Cut the areas for the holes, and you’re ready to set the posts.

Make sure your posts are long enough to reach the proper height once they are set in the ground. Mix your concrete and scoop it into the hole. Use a small post to mix the concrete, eliminating air pockets to ensure it’s level. When the concrete is set, place the post in the footing and make sure it is level and against the marked line. Fill the hole with gravel. Once all the posts are filled, spread the gravel out on the fabric. Let the concrete dry for several days to ensure that the footings are strong.

Attach the beams that will support the decking. You will need beams, a square, chalk line and line level, circular saw, drill with bits, a 2’x4′, a 3lb hammer, carriage bolts, washers and nuts, socket wrench and sockets, screws or nails, clamps and a reciprocating saw. Use carriage bolts to secure the beams to the posts. Next use the line you drew against the house in the previous video to mark a chalk line against your posts. Use a level to make sure the lines are even. Do this to all posts. Next measure down the width of the beam to make a mark where you will attach cleats. Use a 2’x4′ where you will set the posts, and attach with nails or screws. Cut your beams to length. Make sure that the crown side is up as you attach the beams to the posts. Clamp the beams if you need to, drill the bolt holes, hammer in the bolts and tighten. Now cut the posts to length. With the foundation set, we are now ready to start framing.

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