Ground preparation for deck pier block

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In backyards all across America, the summer landscape is once again blooming with above-ground swimming pools. According to the National Spa and Pool Institute, there are about 3.5 million of these opaline oases scattered from coast to coast, and 190,000 new ones are sold annually.

It's easy to see why above-ground pools are so popular: They're affordable, quick and easy to install and require minimal maintenance. However, to get the most enjoyment out of your above-ground pool you need a wood deck that surrounds it. Not only will you never again have to climb a pool ladder, but a deck will also create a fun-in-the-sun gathering place for family and friends. It gives you a place to swim, sunbathe, dine at poolside or just visit.

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The trouble is that most pool decks are too difficult or complicated for the weekend carpenter to build. Plus, there are very few attractive pool-deck plans available, and most of those require you...

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It’s Mayor John Tory’s “field of dreams” – a large, 21-acre park built over the GO Transit and Via Rail tracks from Blue Jays Way to Bathurst Street.

The price tag for the Central Park-style project is expected to be in the billions.

But one Toronto-based developer has a different vision.

Craft Development Corp. said their design would include nine buildings, seven of which would be residential, one commercial and one retail; and 12 of 21 acres would be green space.

Craft chief executive officer Peter Griffis said the City of Toronto would still need to invest some money for the smaller park but it would be at a fraction of the cost.

“We’ve taken care of a bunch of the infrastructure and make it economically viable for the city for the rest of the park. It’s not going to be all put on their backs or the tax payers back or my grandchildren’s grandchildren’s backs,” he said.

Craft Development legally owns the air rights over the tracks and...

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How to Install Precast Concrete Deck Pier Blocks when Building a Deck

By Mark J. Donovan

The depth of a footing hole can vary anywhere from 12 to 60 inches depending upon where you live. In New Hampshire for example, the frost line can run as deep as 36 to 48 inches.

Next, while the concrete footing pad is still wet and workable, place the precast concrete deck pier block on top of the poured concrete footing pad. Work the base of the deck pier block into the concrete footing several inches by pushing and twisting it downwards.

Gently tap the deck pier block to put it in proper alignment relative to the plumb bob. Also make sure the notches are properly aligned to support the deck framing correctly. The center of the precast concrete deck pier block should sit directly underneath the plumb bob. Repeat this process for all the required concrete deck pier blocks and then allow them to set up for 24 hours before continuing on with building your...

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I am extending the backyard deck. The old deck was extended once already but it was a part of a home addition (second pic) so the city wants the pour concrete footing (contractor said it's unnecessary).

My new deck addition (~12'x23')will reach out from both decks (old in left and previous extended one in right - not in the picture). The height is less than 4 foot.

I need to start prepping the foundation & footing now. I plan to use this concrete pier block with metal bracket from Home Depot below:

This will make the footing similar to the old deck.

My main questions are:

1. Do I need to dig to the frost line and fill with crushed concrete rocks? I believe 12" is the frost line in Seattle where I live. Then lay the pier block on top. Something like...

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According to the National Health facility as well as Swimming pool Institute, there are about 3.5 numerous these opaline oases scattered from coastline to coastline, as well as 190,000 brand-new ones are marketed each year.

It’s easy to see why above-ground swimming pools are so popular: They’re budget friendly, fast as well as simple to mount and also require minimal upkeep.

However, to obtain one of the most pleasure out of your above-ground swimming pool you require a timber deck that borders it.

Not just will you never ever again have to climb a swimming pool ladder, yet a deck will certainly likewise produce a fun-in-the-sun meeting place for family and friends. It offers you an area to swim, sunbathe, dine at poolside or just go to.

How to Build a Deck Around an Above Ground Pool?

Preparation your deck around an above ground swimming pool is extremely basic as long as you recognize the image of your dream deck and you have the appropriate...

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A deck pier block is in many ways just a simplified version of a “precast foundation”, a foundation type recognized by building codes. They’re subject to all the same requirements as a typical footing, regardless of not being cast-in-place. They must have a sufficient bearing area (the area of the block that sits on the earth) and be a minimum of 12-inches below grade, or below the local frost depth. They cannot, however, be simply placed at grade level.

The connection of the deck support post to the blocks is not consistently regulated throughout the country. Some regions with high winds and concerns of uplift forces may not approve them, as there is typically no physical connection between the post and block. For lateral forces, like a post getting hit with a lawn mower, we don’t want the post kicked out. Therefore, building codes require lateral restraint at the base of a post. While pier blocks commonly have protruding concrete lugs that surround the post, there is only...

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DEAR TIM: I’m building a deck and discovered that the wooden posts can’t rest on the soil. What I’ve discovered is that I need deck piers. What are they, and how are they made? Are there different ways to install deck piers and footings? What methods have you used to make sure the piers are installed square and in the exact place so the deck posts are centered on the piers? Jared C., Sacramento, CA

DEAR JARED: There are very few places you can place a wood deck post on the ground and have it not move. You can get away with that if you place it on bedrock or on some hard-packed material that has a high compressive strength such that the enormous concentrated load on the post doesn’t cause the post to sink into the ground. Solid crushed gravel might give you this condition as would bedrock.

These precast deck piers look like giant upside down golf tees. Once buried in the ground, you’ll only see the top few inches of concrete. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Carter


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Frost Footings are usually required to support structures attached to homes.

That means digging down past the frost line in areas where the ground freezes in the winter.

In our area the frost line is 42 inches down, so we usually dig about 48 inches deep to be safe. And the holes should be at least 12 inches in diameter, but be sure to check with your local building department.

Digging Footings

Use manual post-hole diggers or rent a power auger.

Dig out the bottoms a couple inches wider than the top so the footings hold the ground better.

That's most easily done by hand with a posthole digger, if the footings have to be more than 36" deep.

Pouring Concrete

Many building officials will want to check the depth and diameter of your footings, so be sure to call them before you pour the concrete.

Order ready-mix if you've got a lot of deep footings to fill. Mix your own...

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There are simpler ways to support your deck

You all know how much work and effort and money it takes to install traditional concrete deck foundations - or footings. Not to mention time waiting for concrete to cure. It's the hardest part of building a deck.

In some cases, given the height of a deck, you have connect it to the ledger of the home. And I am afraid that means you must install proper concrete footing foundations that go below frost line so the deck doesn't move independently in relation to the home.

Most Decks Can Be "Free Standing" or "Floating"

Did you know this?

If your deck is 6 feet or less, with proper post to beam and joist bracing your deck is a perfect candidate for a floating deck.

This means you you have some options for your deck foundation that can save you money, time and effort.

Here are your deck footing options:

Deck Blocks

The cheapest deck foundations are concrete deck blocks...

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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Deck footing & pier construction guide:

This article explains how to prepare deck footings or piers using cardboard tubes, reinforcing steel, post connectors, and concrete. We describe using a SonoTube concrete form to pour the concrete piers or footings that will carry deck posts.

This article series describes critical safe-construction details for decks and porches, including the preparation of footings, piers, and pier-to-post connections for decks, porches, & exterior stairs.

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How to Build Deck Post Footings & Structural Piers

Footings and piers are designed to support the weight of a deck through all types of weather and stress.

The following steps demonstrate the use of waxed cardboard tubes, popularly...

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It could be useful to learn how to build a mobile home support pier in order to re-level your home, straighten out a pier or even put extra support under a bay window, a pool table or a large bathtub. In any of these cases you will need to know how to properly build a support pier to take the weight and spread the load.

It is important to build these support piers correctly so that the load is transferred to the ground. To this end the piers need to be constructed of the right materials. The support needs to be square to the beam, the components stacked firmly and the pad should be flat on the ground.

What you will learn in this article:

The tools do I need? Materials do I need? How to prepare the ground. What type of base pad to use. How to level the pads. Stacking the blocks. How to center the pier.

What tools do you need?

Small torpedo level.


Square Shovel

Tape Measure

What materials do you need?


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