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Old 07-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
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deck footings

I need to set 33 tubes the holes are already made, what is the best way to do it, I'm building a deck and part of it is in a slope. My big problem is making sure they are square., and I don't have an outdoor laser level
Thank you
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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With the investment you are looking at, get familiar with a tape (3-4-5 triangle principal and geometry) and a laser or just pay to have someone set some batter boards that you can run string lines to.

That will get you the horizontal alignment and then all you have to worry about is the vertical (top elevations) of the tubes before you pour the concrete and embed the post connectors.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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Your post is a bit confusing. You say your big problem is that you need to make the posts "square", and you then go on to say you do not have a laser level. I assume you are planning

A laser level would be used to level the tops of the posts, not to make the tubes square. If by "square" you mean plumb, you plumb the tubes with an ordinary level, check three sides, if the tube (I assume you are using sonotubes) checks plumb on three sides, it is OK.

If by "square" you mean that the tubes are correctly layed out in the horizontal plane, you use the technique previously described by concretemasonry. I normally set the outside lines of the tubes along the centerline of the tubes using the 3 4 5 right triangle principle, then measure off the corner tube to set the interior tubes using an ordinary tape measure. You can use string line between the marks to align the interior tubes. You can also use the string line to cut the sonotubes off at the correct elevation. Use a string line level to do this.

As for sizing the tubes, you do not indicate that you have any questions about that, so I assume you have selected the required tube size and spacing based on code or building inspector recommendations. Similarly the required depth of the footings should be specified in your local code, and possibly the required method of attaching the post to the footing. Design of the deck itself is also likely in the code.
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