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Old 04-29-2011, 11:19 AM   #1
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


Some of you may have read one of my recent posts. It is below to bring you up to speed. Finally had my inspection today and they want 36" deep pier holes. I would guess most of ours are 26"-32". They want me to dig up two pier holes to prove 36" depth. Any tricks to add depth to my piers?

Thanks for any suggestions.

So here is the deal. Since my city office was closed on Friday for Good Friday my dad and I got started on my new deck. We set the posts, stringers, joists, and floor board without a permit. This morning my conscience got the best of me and I went in and applied for a building permit. They want to come out for a hole inspection, but obviously our posts are already set. Is there anyway for me to get out of the permit and just continue building without an inspector coming out? Thanks for your input.

Joe

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Old 04-29-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


Oopsie!

Piers have to be deep enough to be below the frost line. This is for a definite reason, not because the city wants your money.
If the bottom of the pier is above the frost line the pier and anything attached to it will heave.

As far as adding the the bottom of a pier to make it deeper, the only way I know that that would work is to pull out the existing pier, dig deeper, pour a footing and set the old pier on the footing. Sounds like more work than just pulling them up, digging deeper and re-pouring a new pier.

BTW, once you have applied for a permit they kind of have your number and there's no way around it that I know of. They will probably at least drive by and take a look from the street to see if you actually started the job after retracting the permit.

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Old 04-29-2011, 03:00 PM   #3
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


So this is the suggestion that was given to me by an inspector of the city at their office.

They want me to dig down at an angle below the footer the extra 12 inches and fill with concrete. I swear that this will make my deck even more unstable than to just leave the posts at there two foot depth. Why disturb all that extra ground to bring it to the depth they want?
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


Joe, have you ever seen how far the frost can move an object?

have you ever driven down a road after a cold night and complained about the humps? Imagine how much you will complain when your deck is destroyed because a couple piers heaved 3" one winter.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #5
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


Quote:
Originally Posted by joerunner2 View Post
So this is the suggestion that was given to me by an inspector of the city at their office.

They want me to dig down at an angle below the footer the extra 12 inches and fill with concrete. I swear that this will make my deck even more unstable than to just leave the posts at there two foot depth. Why disturb all that extra ground to bring it to the depth they want?
That seems to be a reasonable suggestion. You're lucky they didn't order you to rip everything out and place the piers at the proper depth.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:46 PM   #6
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


Quote:
Originally Posted by joerunner2 View Post
So this is the suggestion that was given to me by an inspector of the city at their office.

They want me to dig down at an angle below the footer the extra 12 inches and fill with concrete. I swear that this will make my deck even more unstable than to just leave the posts at there two foot depth.
You just don't want to dig.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:45 AM   #7
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


This is just a note to anyone planning a project---Read the code books--

Even if no permit is required or you want to 'sneak' it in without a required permit.

Always meet or exceed code---then if there is ever a question--or you get caught--you're not going to have to re-do every thing.--Mike---
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:47 AM   #8
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


Digging at an angle to what is there seems like more work to me than digging new holes adjacent to existing ones but at the right depth (hypotenuse issue). Perhaps a two-man auger to do most of the work?
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:58 AM   #9
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Adding to a Pier Hole Help??


So you dig at an angle and then add concrete to the bottom????
How do you form it?
What is the bonding method between the old & new concrete?
How do you get the new concrete to squeeze all the way to the top so there are no voids between old & new???

The city officials are sitting behind a desk giving you instructions on how to add concrete to the bottom of an existing pier??
Do you really think they have ever done one that way????

Take a step back and do this right.
You messed up...we all do at some time...
Do it now before you get any further along on your beautiful deck and it becomes even MORE work.

.....of course I'm sitting here at my desk telling you to just start digging....

Good luck

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