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Old 08-06-2008, 10:31 AM   #1
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Installation of Posts for New Deck

I've installed deck support posts before using cardboard tubes into which you pour concrete from a cement mixer. I have a new deck project and have been told that it is much simpler to just drill a hole, put in 3" of crushed rock, tap it down with the post, line up and level the post using two side supports to keep it steady and then just put in the concrete mix directly from the bag, wetting it down a bit and poking the concrete to fill in all the air bubbles.

Is this a good technique to use? Any advice for me?



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Old 08-06-2008, 11:10 AM   #2
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For a deck, use the sono tube the way you intend. Dig below the frost depth for your tubes, install j bolts for your teco fasteners and mount your fasteners and posts on top of the cured concrete.

Your friends way of digging a hole and using 3" of stone, install the post, fill with concrete would be ok for a mailbox or fence post, not for a deck.


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Old 08-06-2008, 11:33 AM   #3
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I always dig my holes first, and then build the deck frame on temporary supports. Then my posts go in, then the holes are concreted. That way I'm not struggling to perfectly set posts for a deck that hasn't been built yet. Works great.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:39 AM   #4
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maybe another thing to consider - adfreezing - I installed fence posts and went 4 feet down (have not had any frost that deep since they went in) and then filled with concrete around the post - nice and level / plumb for about 2 years. It appears that the frost was grabbing the concrete at the sides and lifting the posts up - it was even worse since the top of the concrete around the surface of the ground was fluted out a bit - making a nice sort of "umbrella" shape that the top frost could push up on at the surface - kinda like pulling a nail out of a board. Luckily this is only a short run but it was still a mistake that I have to fix now. I would say that the sono tubes (or similar system with something in place to help prevent the adfreezing effects of frost) would the the best bet especially for a deck.

Last edited by rtoni; 08-06-2008 at 03:28 PM. Reason: typo's
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:06 PM   #5
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I've build several the way Termite does it. Everything stays lined up that way. Your way will have the post setting on 3" of gravel. You might just as well forget the concrete. The post will shrink and slip through it. You want the post sitting on top of the concrete footer, not in it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Easy32 View Post
Is this a good technique to use?

Originally Posted by Easy32 View Post
Any advice for me?

dig your holes below frost line (minimum of 12" diameter, more if deck is elevated)
use 6" tall Sonotube ring at top of hole sticking up above grade 2"
pour concrete (mixed either in a wheelbarrow, elec. mixer or from a concrete truck)
add rebar (make sure it stays 2" away from top, bottom and sides of footing - it must be completely encased in the concrete)
Add galvanized post bases (Simpson ZMAX) to the wet concrete (IF you can get them lined up and level) - If not,
let the concrete cure for a week (two is better), then
drill and install expansion anchors and adjustable standoff post bases (again, make sure they're ZMAX)
Set your posts in the post bases, secure them with the necessary fasteners (12d galv. nails, Simpson SDS screws, 1/2" through bolts - whatever the post base calls for)

This method will keep your posts away from water and allow them their longest life.



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