Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury

 
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:32 AM   #1
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Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


I'm curious as to how you all handle your deck posts and footings. I've always poured the footings to grade and then attach the posts to the footers with some type of post base. But I've seen (as late as yesterday) a builder placing the post in about a foot of concrete in the footer hole and then filling the remainder up with dirt. I've checked code in our area and while it doesn't recommend it, it does allow the posts to be buried as long as there's at least an 8" concrete base.

I know it saves time and concrete, but how will this last over the long run, especially with the new ACQ? Is this hackmanship or efficiency?
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:44 AM   #2
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


I usually put my post right in the ground with a bag of concrete around it which passes code here. Who knows with the new ACQ what will happen. My opinion is which do you trust more the post or a bracket? Your way you are relying on the expsosed bracket holding up to the elements which with the new ACQ isn't for long. I have seen people wrap the wood with ice/water shield where it meets the brackets. My way I am relying on the post holding up to direct ground/moisture contact. My 2 cents.

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Old 11-17-2005, 09:49 AM   #3
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


In Michigan our requirements and code is to bury 42" below grade to the bottom side of the footer. Builders here do it several ways... One is to put 12x4 round footers at the bottom of a 42" hole and set the post on that and bury it. Some will put the post on the soil, hammer a few nails in the side of the post and pour cement around it. The requirement to bury 42" below grade is because of the frost that would heave the posts and deck if it were on top of grade. Your requirements I'm sure are different because you probably do not get frost. I personally like my posts sitting on top of a larger base than just on the soil.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


Here in Colorado I have to do 30" deep piers dia depends upon enginering and they allow you to bury the post in the concrete min 12" and only if it is P.T. but they would much rather see a metal post base. I use the post bases, I would rather do what they like rather than what they allow the last thing I need is to get an inspector come back and say "prove they are 12" into the concrete, we checked the holes but how do we know that the post is long enough?" You all know how inspectors can be sometimes.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


Our code is 32" to bottom of footing, and a minimum of 8" of concrete, I don't believe the post even has to be in sunk into the concrete. I saw one builder put a large cinder block at the bottom of the footing to keep the post up off the ground and then just poured a bag or two of cement around it to fill in the footer.

I believe the old CCA was rated for ground contact, but the new ACQ specifically says, not for ground contact. I guess we'll know for sure in about 10-15 yrs.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:38 PM   #6
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


I always use the saddle brackets set in concrete. Code for the cement piers here is 48" below grade with the top of the pier being 6" above grade and sonotubes, of course. The code for diameter is 9.5" for 4"x4" posts and 12" for 6"x6" posts.

The 6" above grade takes care of the ACQ not being in direct contact with the ground.

Also, our inspection schedule is as follows: 1. verification that holes are 48" deep (prior to the cement going in the hole 2. upon completion of framing 3. completion of deck.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:45 PM   #7
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


A post in the ground around here MIGHT last 10 yrs.

I like the Bigfoot and short sonotube. I'm dealing with sand, so the larger footprint helps prevent movement.
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:26 PM   #8
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


I've always put the posts in the ground, - - 36" deep according to local code, - - 2" of stone at the bottom, - - a coating of 'fibrated' roof coating on the sides and bottom, - - nails on the sides, - - fill with concrete to about 4" 'shy' of the top.

Makes for a much stronger 'continuous' post and rail system.

They're all still standin' strong, - - the oldest being about 20 years.
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


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Old 11-26-2005, 07:01 PM   #10
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


Attached decks I'll use the sonotubes and saddle blocks since the house is effectively preventing the outter posts from wanting to shift/move. I personally like this method since it keeps posts above grade and helps overall lifespan of the wood. Only thing I dont like is this new treated lumber that eats all thing metal I'm sure somewhere somebody offers stainless saddle blocks, but can only imagine what those babies cost$$$$

Free standing decks get, footing dug 42" deep, 2" of 1" rock then 8" of 5000psi concrete. After letting set up for a day I drill out base of posts for #4 rebar to extend 2" past sides of posts in both directions first set approx 6" from bottom of post then the next set in the other direction approx 12" above bottom of post. set post on concrete footing and fill remaining hole with more 5000psi until I can form a crown above grade for water run off. sure makes drilling and hammering cariage bolts alot easier since post is solid. Here we must dig the footing hole and then make foot/base 12" bigger than hole for line posts and 8" bigger for corner posts...talk about being a PITA trying to dig out the bottom of a hole but that's what we have to do, project, spans, etc...all play into what posts we're able to use, post spacing, footing size and footprint size depending on line posts or corner posts.
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


Quote:
Originally Posted by IHI
Here we must dig the footing hole and then make foot/base 12" bigger than hole for line posts and 8" bigger for corner posts...talk about being a PITA trying to dig out the bottom of a hole but that's what we have to do, project, spans, etc...all play into what posts we're able to use, post spacing, footing size and footprint size depending on line posts or corner posts.
Holy crap! Talk about overkill...
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:37 PM   #12
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


LOL, alot of what I do is overkill, but never been bck to look at any problems either so what the heck Only thing I see as overkill is the #4 rebar instead of typical 16d nails and 5000psi instead of 4000 psi, but price for me is the same either way so naturally gonna go with the stronger stuff to make life hell for whomever tries to tear it out. That last porch/deck we did, homie said if we ever got a tornado he's tying the family to the deck-screww the basement LOL!! so yes, it also helps with referrals since folks like to get bullet proof installs since soo many shadey guys just do minimum to skate by and things last for only a few years. Not to mention, life gets alot easier with inspectors since you get the reputaion, many times I'll call in for fotting insepction and just get the , go ahead and pour it, we'll sign it later.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:19 AM   #13
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


i bury and pour around the post but use either a 4x6 or 6x6 which will outlast anything else on the deck and it all goes together very quickly.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:45 AM   #14
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


Chris,
On your pic, what is that, an 8" pier? Is that flared at the bottom so that your footer is larger?
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


Quote:
Originally Posted by IHI
Not to mention, life gets alot easier with inspectors since you get the reputaion, many times I'll call in for fotting insepction and just get the , go ahead and pour it, we'll sign it later.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:03 AM   #16
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Re: Deck Posts -- To Bury Or Not To Bury


Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodcrafter74
Chris,
On your pic, what is that, an 8" pier? Is that flared at the bottom so that your footer is larger?
10" pier cap, flared out approx 12-14" +/- at bottom, 36" deep, tamp the
$H!T out of the bottom of hole with demo hammer w/custom long tamping attatchment.

 


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