Concrete piers

Old 05-11-12, 04:44 AM
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Concrete piers

I wasn't sure if I should ask this in the building forum or here in the masonry forum.

When using concrete piers and PT posts for a footing (as in a barn, deck etc.) how can you set the piers or forms in place and be sure that the posts will all sit in perfect position such that they will all be plum and aligned? I know how to "square up" a footing and align the holes for the piers, but it seems nearly impossible that you could fill tubes with wet concrete, insert post brackets, and have everything so precisely aligned that all of the columns would be perfectly plum when finished. If I set concrete piers like this for a large barn (say 28’ x 40’) with metal receptacles for the wood posts embedded in the concrete, I can’t image achieving the kind of precision needed to avoid having to “tap the columns into plum.

Am I missing something here?

Old 05-11-12, 05:31 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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I'm sure a pro will post but I do not insert the post brackets in the concrete. I use J hooks set in the concrete and post brackets that bolt to the J hook after it has set. The brackets have a fairly large hole to give you some adjustment. Just have two sticks set up to run a string across the footings so your hooks are in line.

I have also used a hammer drill after the concrete sets and drilled a 1/2" hole and used Redheads, which is now my preferred method.
Old 05-11-12, 11:46 AM
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In reality, having absolutely perfect, true level surfaces of the tops of concrete footings is not something easily attained. To complicate matters, I suspect the fabrication tolerances of steel stand-off bracket manufacturers can be a further complication. A decent laser level will help considerably to establish the same elevation at each form in the footing layout. I'd cut or set each Sonotube to finished grade, making sure all are firmly anchored to prevent movement (in all directions). Then it's a matter of striking off concrete to the top of forms, and using a small torpedo level at right angles while finish-floating to ensure true horizontal surfaces.

Setting all foundation posts perfectly plumb in their brackets takes a good crane operator and one or two ground men, checking for plumb with a decent carpenter's level in both directions before installing braces. Any discrepancies in finished top elevations can be dealt with using shims and/or a good power saw.
Old 05-15-12, 10:42 AM
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Use a string line to keep your brackts in line.

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