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Old 05-31-2017, 07:14 AM   #1
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Shoddy deck footings?


Morning all,

I hired a contractor to dig out and set deck footings and a few things have happened:

- Some posts were dug to 3.5ft, not 4ft as required by code -- I checked this by measuring the height of the posts relative to grade
- Some posts were set correctly in sonotubes, while others directly into the ground
- They're off measurement according to the plans I had supplied
- Posts were not centered in the sonotubes

Pics attached.

My main concern is that the depth is not correct and the footings will be susceptible to frost heave.

It feels as though my only option is to dig these up (or hire someone to dig these up) and have them redone. Do I have any other options?
Attached Thumbnails
Shoddy deck footings?-photo-2017-05-30-17-40-06.jpg   Shoddy deck footings?-photo-2017-05-30-17-40-09.jpg   Shoddy deck footings?-photo-2017-05-30-17-40-22.jpg   Shoddy deck footings?-photo-2017-05-30-18-12-52.jpg   Shoddy deck footings?-photo-2017-05-30-18-12-57.jpg  

Shoddy deck footings?-photo-2017-05-30-18-12-59.jpg  
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:18 AM   #2
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


Nice shoes.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


If the post was 4' deep in a 4' hole that would be bad. There should be concrete under posts 6 to 8 inches as a footing. If post was sitting on dirt it would probably sink and or rot quicker.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


Sono tubes in this case are just to save concrete . They are normally used to keep concrete a couple inches above ground then the posts are anchored on top aftward and above dirt and water.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:47 AM   #5
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


I don't believe they're sitting on concrete, but it's difficult to be sure. I'm basing this assumption on the # of bags used. They also didn't use any of the gravel I supplied for drainage. Posts are tarred at the bottom and up the sides.

Will I need to get these dug up if they're not?
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:50 AM   #6
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


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Originally Posted by JustinK View Post
Sono tubes in this case are just to save concrete . They are normally used to keep concrete a couple inches above ground then the posts are anchored on top aftward and above dirt and water.
Yeah, the pic w/ my shoes shows one that was not fully poured. Maybe 1-2 ft. of concrete at best and not backfilled at all.

Am I overthinking/stressing over nothing?
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:02 AM   #7
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


The post should have been sitting on post bases sitting on top of the filled Sona tubes, not inside them.
https://www.google.com/search?q=sono...wDMBiDFnd0XHM:
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:56 AM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 05-31-2017, 09:00 AM   #9
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


I wouldn't pay for that work even if the posts were exactly where the plans wanted them.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:42 AM   #10
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


We don't know your deck requirements / height and structure...... and post's can be set in concrete (I don't recommend) if the hole/son0 is is wide enough, but if your deck needs structural integrity and longevity...............................

sorry to say, but I'd redesign /redo it.

If it's for a chicken coop, it's probably fine.

Was this an experienced licensed contractor.?
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Old 05-31-2017, 09:33 PM   #11
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


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We don't know your deck requirements / height and structure...... and post's can be set in concrete (I don't recommend) if the hole/son0 is is wide enough, but if your deck needs structural integrity and longevity...............................

sorry to say, but I'd redesign /redo it.

If it's for a chicken coop, it's probably fine.

Was this an experienced licensed contractor.?
Deck is 13.5' x 16', 24" above grade, 11 posts and also resting on a concrete pad. Our code requirements are being met, however I'm concerned that the depth isn't there and the rest of the work is sloppy at best.

The posts are 6x6s in 10" sonos that were supposed to be buried 4' deep and they've been buried at deepest 3'8", at worst 3'6". Some of the soil around the posts is loose and I need to tamp (may soak the soil as well?) and add more concrete to the tubes/holes.

Using 2x10s for beams, 2x8s for joists, 2x6s for deck boards. Deck will also have a privacy fence based on the same 6x6s.

Yes, he was a licensed contractor. Let me know what further details you may need.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:17 PM   #12
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


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Deck is 13.5' x 16', 24" above grade, 11 posts and also resting on a concrete pad. Our code requirements are being met,Well.... NOT if your code/ freeze depth is 48" however I'm concerned that the depth isn't there and the rest of the work is sloppy at best. ( AGREE at best sloppy)

The posts are 6x6s in 10" sonos that were supposed to be buried 4' deep and they've been buried at deepest 3'8", at worst 3'6". Some of the soil around the posts is loose and I need to tamp (may soak the soil as well?) and add more concrete to the tubes/holes.

Using 2x10s for beams, 2x8s for joists, 2x6s for deck boards. Deck will also have a privacy fence based on the same 6x6s.

Yes, he was a licensed contractor. Let me know what further details you may need.
Well .... the good news it is a 24" deck and no one is likely to get seriously injured.

But you do have an investment of time and money to also protect.

At 24", does your jurisdiction require a permit and will this be inspected....

With those piers being both shallow (above the frost line) and with little/no concrete surrounding part of them, I think they are very prone to shifting.

I don't know if there is a prescriptive code for hole(sono) size relative to post size when posts are being set into the concrete. With 6x6 set perfectly centered in a 10" hole, you'd barely have 1" of concrete at your diagonals. Does not sound right to me... even if perfectly set. (Again, I don't like setting structural wood elements into concrete... fence posts OK)

If you have a contract requiring frost depth, and the man is licensed, I think you probably have a good claim to have them redone... and maybe a claim for unworkmanship quality work.

But if it's a deck that you don't care about for more than a few years, maybe it's not worth the trouble.

If it is a deck important to your home, I hope you would consider at least larger sono's or going to post base verse sinking timbers in concrete.

Sorry, your call... I think you have basically both a design weakness and well less than quality work with the poor design.

Best and good luck...

CAVEAT: I AM NOT AN ENGINEER.... but I have built a bunch of decks in frost country. Maybe Dan Hollzman will be around and help us out.... he's good.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:27 PM   #13
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinK View Post
Sono tubes in this case are just to save concrete . They are normally used to keep concrete a couple inches above ground then the posts are anchored on top aftward and above dirt and water.
Not really..... although sometimes used in that manner.

In heavy freezing country and a washout hole, they are used to maintain a smooth wall pier that is less suseptable to frost upheave.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:11 PM   #14
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Re: Shoddy deck footings?


The 6x6s do not need concrete around them it needs it under them. Its called a footing a 6x6 is not a footing. The post doesn't need to be below front line the footing does. With 11 footings over that size deck your load is small. Most decks that size have 3 or 6 footings. It would be really hard to screw this up.
Fill the rest of the hole up with gravel and it's done.
Posts are not required to give lateral support. Although that is the benefit of a buried post.
You get lateral support from house and bracing.

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