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Old 09-27-2009, 12:51 AM   #1
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Deck/Do I need footings?

I'm building a deck that is attached to my house. It is low (24" off the ground). Do I need to make poured concrete footings and bolt the support posts down to the footings? Or can I just dig down a few inches and lay down a concrete block and set the green treated support post right on the block without bolting it down? I live in CO - the soil is hard with lots of clay. I'm thinking I may not need to bolt down to footings only because the deck is so low.


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Old 09-27-2009, 06:23 AM   #2
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how much frost do you normally get & how long would you like this fine deck to last ? w/your ideas, i'd expect not long.


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Old 09-27-2009, 07:08 AM   #3
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I'd guess by spring several post footings would have heaved, lifting several support other posts off the blocks and you'd be tearing it down (or it would fall down) by next fall. Naturally it would never pass any inspection.

42" concrete piers is the only way to go. (possibly 36" depending on your location).
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
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Here's a link to what's required in Douglas County. Call your local building department, they'll give you a good idea of what the proper method is for your area.

Also, if you're placing footings within 5 feet of an existing structure, the footings have to go down at least to the depth of the existing footing. Otherwise it looks like 36 inches is normal (at least for Douglas County). That's typical of NJ as well.

Also, it looks like they pulled a lot of the details right out of the AWC's Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide, with a couple modifications. Here's a link to the original PRDCG:
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice Aggie - I appreciate it!
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