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Old 06-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
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Deck being built before footings?


Hi everyone I just contracted a deck to be built by a local contractor in my area with very high reviews. I have been away while the built the deck and they built the stairs in the wrong spot, but thats another story. My wife noticed they didn't even pour the support footings yet. I am not sure what right looks like so I came here to see if this is normal. The deck is still under construction, but I want to make sure it will be safe. We live in Maryland if that makes any difference. Thanks again!
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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Deck being built before footings?


quite a few deck builders do frame the deck before the footings are in place without any issue.. however those posts your builder has in place is less than sufficient... the post should be one piece that sits on a 2x6 foot without any scabbed on pieces

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Old 06-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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Deck being built before footings?


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those posts your builder has in place is less than sufficient
The posts on the outside look temporary. My guess is the ones on the inside will be the final posts.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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Deck being built before footings?


I've never once heard of or seen anyone build one that way.
How do they expect to dig a footing below the frost line and fill it with the deck in the way.
Makes no since to me.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Deck being built before footings?


Fairly common to frame up before the footings are poured in this area also--

The inspection process of the holes is the main reason---why stop work and wait a day or two for the inspector to look at the holes?

Dig--call for inspection--then start framing---this allows for the sonotubes to be centered under the posts--another good reason to pour after framing--
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:59 PM   #6
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Deck being built before footings?


The only reason I can think of doing it this way.
If they poured the footings first, which I would do. Then they can not work on it for a few days while the concrete cures and gains strength.
Looks like they dug adequate size footings depending how deep they are, pour it last which will be a pain working under the deck.

But he is getting in there, building it full steam ahead, will pour last and tell you to stay off of it for a week while the concrete cures and then come back and remove the temp supports.
Different, but I suppose will work just fine also.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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Deck being built before footings?


The inspection process makes sense.
And they already have the footings dug, will just be pouring dry cement in the hole and mixing water as you go, a pain but very doable.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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Deck being built before footings?


Inspections can do that----I need to build a little 4x6 patio door landing and two steps---

Hole inspection would take two days----digging four holes will take ,what an hour? When call it a day and drive to another job?

Best to dig--build and then call---in this area anyways---
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Deck being built before footings?


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The inspection process makes sense.
And they already have the footings dug, will just be pouring dry cement in the hole and mixing water as you go, a pain but very doable.


They wouldn't be putting dry mix and water in the footings in my back yard,do they actually let you do that where you live????
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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Deck being built before footings?


honestly it seems to be more of an american thing.. ive never seen anyone do it this way in canada. having the posts already in place as shown would make it difficult to get the post saddles properly in position not only in the concete while it sets up but also around the post itself

we always locate the piers first.. and pour them. then build off of that. as long as the piers are in a straight line it doesnt really matter if their off by 1/2" from the foundation of hte house
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:44 PM   #11
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Deck being built before footings?


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The inspection process makes sense.
And they already have the footings dug, will just be pouring dry cement in the hole and mixing water as you go, a pain but very doable.
I hope this is not what they are planning on doing. I don't know of any place that will allow loadbearing piers to have the concrete placed in that way. It must be premixed in order to ensure proper mixing and slump in order to ensure the final strength is correct. The only time you ever used dry cement and then add water is when setting posts!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #12
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Deck being built before footings?


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Inspections can do that----I need to build a little 4x6 patio door landing and two steps---

hole inspection would take two days----digging four holes will take ,what an hour? When call it a day and drive to another job?

Best to dig--build and then call---in this area anyways---
I'm surprised the inspectors will get under the deck to inspect the excavations. Or do they just see there's a hole and be done with it? If they don't pass the excavation for some reason it would certainly be a pain to do any rework.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #13
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Deck being built before footings?


Im in Maryland too. Ive never done it this way but it does make sense if you think about it, I dont like how they temped them though. I seriously do not get how the steps ended up in the wrong place, you need plans for a permit. The steps are shown on the plans, so How can they end up in the wrong place?????
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:16 PM   #14
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Deck being built before footings?


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I've never once heard of or seen anyone build one that way.
How do they expect to dig a footing below the frost line and fill it with the deck in the way.
Makes no since to me.
Joe... Done all the time out here in Co. With significant elevation changes, it's easier and more accurate to drop a plumb line for your pier, than to do your staked layout.

Your supporting posts, prior to setting your piers and actual posts, are offset from your designed posting. Thus you can dig your piers without obstruction.

Your supporting posts, if you call them that, are just scab lumber. I guess we've never had OSHA show up.

Sounds crazy, I know, but actually works pretty well.

Best

Peter

EDIT.... Oh Joe, you only do it on elevated decks where you can still dig below it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #15
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Deck being built before footings?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I've never once heard of or seen anyone build one that way.
How do they expect to dig a footing below the frost line and fill it with the deck in the way.
Makes no since to me.
We do all ours this way. We build the box ( rim joists) square it up, build our beam, drop plumb bobs and dig our holes. 48" deep is code up my way.

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