Replacing existing load bearing deck posts
Good morning, I have rebuilt my 25 year old deck 3 years ago and subsequently added some significant weight. I have (4) 4x4 PT columns supporting my deck now and I want to replace those with (4) 4x6 PT. The deck is about 21'x12'.
The existing columns are placed on recessed concrete pilings with anchors and toe nailed into the girder. Ideally, I would like to raise the end of the deck up about 0.5" to make the deck level.
My plan is to put the new posts where the old posts are now. The pilings are large enough for the 4x6, which will be positioned so that the 6" dimension will be parallel with the girder.
I am unsure of the steps necessary to do this project safely while allowing me the option of raising the deck up 0.5".
Should I build a temporary support structure and then disassemble the existing (4) posts? Can I replace one post at a time? I am struggling with how to install the new posts. Any guidance is much appreciated. Thanks...
In order to raise your deck you would have to have a support built to hold your deck up safely so you can remove your old posts. You can also use a 0ne ton hydraulic jack with a short post to lift your deck level so you can remove one post at a time.
Look online for Thyssen Krupp Safway Shoring System. That's what we use. The rental for a residential deck should be pretty inexpensive. Let them size all of the components for you, and deliver it. Goes up quick. Probably only need one row, down the length of the deck, inboard of the main beam. But tell them everything, let them size it make up the component list. And as an added bonus, it will let you jack the entire deck up to the correct elevation, also.
While you're at it, do a search for AWC's "Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide", and size your concrete footings and posts properly. 4x4's are a no-no. Same with 6x4's. And if the concrete footings are too small, the deck is just going to penetrate into the soil and sink again. Also, toe nailing the posts into the underside of the beam? Yikes. Use the proper hardware, like Simpson or USP post beam connectors.
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