raised wood walkway


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Old 04-25-10, 02:52 PM
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raised wood walkway

Let's see if I can describe what I want to do. I want to put in a raised walkway made out of PT wood and cedar decking material. It's basically a basic deck design but running long so it makes a walkway.

It'll be 4' wide. I want to sink 4X4 PT posts about 3' in the ground (Indiana winters are cold), 2 and 1/2 feet wide and 4' apart going the long way. I then want to put some kind of metal bracket into the top of each post. Running the long way - and in each bracket - will be more 4X4 PT posts. That's the base. Running perpendicular to these long posts will be 5/4 X 6 cedar decking that'll match our deck. Once all those are on, I'll cut them to make gentle a gentle S curve.

My question: is this overkill - especially with the4X4s that the deckingwill go on? I want it to last and I don't think 2X4s on edge will provide enough stable support.

Feedback?
 
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Old 04-25-10, 08:13 PM
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I was following and agreeing with you UNTIL you mentioned sinking 4X4's several feet into the ground.

My prejudice is that wood in contact with dirt is GOING to rot. Concrete in contact with dirt doesn't. So use concrete footings and a post or column base in the footing and attach the wood post to that.

Everything above grade that you are talking about will work fine.
 
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Old 04-26-10, 03:48 AM
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I understand the concrete footings with posts. What is a column base?
 
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Old 04-26-10, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lefty View Post
I was following and agreeing with you UNTIL you mentioned sinking 4X4's several feet into the ground.

My prejudice is that wood in contact with dirt is GOING to rot. Concrete in contact with dirt doesn't. So use concrete footings and a post or column base in the footing and attach the wood post to that.

Everything above grade that you are talking about will work fine.
Is this the kind of thing you're talking about? A precast concrete thing?

Home and Garden | Setting Precast Concrete Piers - Decks Project - Do It Yourself
 
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Old 04-26-10, 05:08 AM
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A column base (or post base) is a Simpson CB or PB. There are several styles. Look at the Simpson catalog or go to Simpson Strong-Tie - Helping to Build Stronger, Safer Structures
 
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Old 04-26-10, 06:05 AM
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You'll have to excuse my ignorance. I've not built a deck before.

I get that the post or column base you're talking about is a metal bracket (for lack of a better word) that connects the post to the footer. I definitely need this, not only to firmly attach the horizontal 4X4s to the footers, but to keep them from twisting over time.

What I'm asking about is the footer itself. Can I get away with those pre-cast concrete pier blocks I see at Lowes, etc? They come with a 4" strap. Easy to put in but I'm concerned about heaving.

If using those precast footers is going to be problematic, I can resign myself to digging and mixing. The total length of the walkway is going to be around 70' or so - at 8' apart and 2 at each point we're talking about at least 18 footers.

Doc
 
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Old 04-27-10, 06:01 PM
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No, you cannot use the pre-cast pier blocks. You need a footing that is 6" deeper than your frost level. Fill the footing with concrete and set the PB or CB in the wet concrete.
 
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Old 05-01-10, 04:30 AM
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Gotcha. Thanks for the tips. I guess this means I get to play with a power auger!
 
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Old 05-02-10, 08:11 AM
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....."CALL Before You DIG"....
 
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Old 05-04-10, 08:51 AM
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Indeed, yes!

Yet another question: since the walkwaywill have a gentle "S" curve, I'm going to use 2X4s since they can be pulled into line. I'll double them up for strength.

Is there a rule of thumb for how far apart I can put the footers without leaving too much spring in the doubled 2X4s? I've experimented and it seems 5' is too far apart. 4' seems to work fine, but that means an awful lot of footers. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 05-04-10, 12:11 PM
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A 2X4 on edge is going to feel 'springy' if it spans more than about 3 or 4 feet. If you were to use 1X6's as the joists and dbl or triple them up they will span farther between footings, although that will make the walkway a couple of inches higher.
 
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Old 05-04-10, 02:38 PM
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Yeah, I thought of that. My wife doesn't want this thing THAT raised and I tend to agree. A dilemma.....
 
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Old 05-04-10, 02:49 PM
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If you use PT wood that is rated for ground contact it will last a long time. If you use a footing and PT wood it will last a VERY long time.
 
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Old 05-06-10, 01:21 PM
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thanks. I figured that if I was going to dig all those holes, it better be around for a while.

After all of this, we're now considering using bluestone for a stone path. Probably a bit more expensive, but less work and it'll match our other walkways.....

Thanks guys - these tips will help with other projects I'm always trying to talk my wife into......
 
 

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