deck posts

Old 11-05-04, 06:55 PM
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deck posts

We've lived in this 10 year old house for five years. Recently while re-landscaping we've discovered the deck posts are not in concrete footings. They only inches below ground level.

No rot is evident on the couple we've dug around. But what do we do now? We live in the St. Louis, MO area. Thanks.
Old 11-05-04, 07:27 PM
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In my area, Northern VA, we must have dig footings a minimum of 24" deep (frost depth), and the 6x6 posts must rest on a min. of 8" of concrete. I would be concerned about the structural integrity of your deck, given the lack of any appreciable support. One idea for a fix is to support the main beam using ceiling jacks (rent) resting on hardwood cribbing - remove the existing posts - dig appropriate holes - replace post with new (longer) posts - pour concrete - wait a week - remove jack supprts. Sounds like a lot of work, but depending on the number of post, you and a couple of friends should be able to complete in a weekend. I would not close my eyes to this problem, your deck has little lateral or vertical support as is.

Good Luck!
Old 11-05-04, 09:55 PM
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Thanks for the tips, BigC. Since there are a number of posts (large deck with gazebo), I'm wondering whether I can get away from replacing all of them.

Is this feasible: rent jacks to support the deck, remove the posts, pour concrete footings, top footings with post anchors and then put the posts back firmly attached to post anchors.

Or am I dreaming? Any suggestions are appreciated.
Old 11-06-04, 06:21 AM
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I've done that to replace posts on a decks, never did it to do a new pillar though. Also did it last year on a new deck since i installed temporary posts because the Geodeck post sleeves were back ordered.
Old 11-06-04, 06:23 AM
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I have more questions than answers at this point. There are a lot of different ways to build a deck in regards to the size and type of footings required, the size and spacing of posts, girders, and the joists. HOW you go about it, and what a local bldg. dept. will allow (and what they won't allow) depends on local conditions.

BigC mentions 24" deep footings -- that is due to frost. If frost is an issue in St. Louis, find out how much deeper than 8" your footings have to be.

BigC also mentions 6X6 posts. That may well be what is required in VA. But in CA, a 4X4 post is all that's needed in most cases. (The height above grade and the slope of the grade, spans, etc., etc. can and do change that.

Before you do anything, I would suggest that you check with your local bldg. dept. and see what they will allow and approve, and what they won't. Obviously, having the posts a few inches deep in the dirt isn't going to fly.

Anchoring the gazebo is going to be an entirely different set of requirements.
Old 11-06-04, 01:35 PM
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Thanks to all of you. I'll checking with the building dept. Monday to see what the requirements are. After looking over the situation with some friends in the building biz today, we do think we can fix this with the help of footings, post anchors and a little sweat.

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