First Deck, Some ?'s
I am building a wooden porch(deck) on the front of my house and have a question about the footings. I am using Lowes instructions http://www.lowes.com/cd_Build+a+Deck_578806386_
and am currently digging the footings. I have bought the two Sonotubes for my 2 required posts, and they are 8"x48".
I want the center of the deck posts to be 1 ft in from the LH and RH sides of the deck and 1 ft in from the front of the deck(side opposite the house). The other side of the deck is going to be attached to the hosue using a Ledger board.
The Sonotubes get filled to the top with cement and then once the concrete sets some a J-Bolt gets put into the center of the cement. A Post Anchor then later slips over the J-Bolt and a nut secures it there. The 4x4 Post then slips into the Anchor and is secured.
What is an easy way to get the sonotubes positioned so that the center of the tubes are lined up to give me those 1 foot-from-the-edges spacing that I want? In other words since the J-Bolt is going to be centered in the cement inside the Sonotube, it needs to be lined up with those 1-foot in lines I want. Is Batterboards and string my only option?
I was told that I need to dig down 42" for the post holes. Is it fine to just set the sonotube in the hole, level it, backfill with the dirt that came out of the hole and then pour my concrete down the center of the Sonotube? I have read all kinds of other stuff like wrapping the sonotube in plastic, putting a gravel base in the bottom of the hole, filling around the outside of the sonotube with gravel and attaching a base to the sonotube that flares out. Are all these really necessary? Would I be fine just doing it as described above? The bottom of the poured "pier" would be below the frost line. Thanks.
batter boards are easy and accurate and can be set away from your digging area. if your down 42" and in undisturbed soil, no backfill the tubes should be fine. I would back fill with dirt after framing is done
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