Footers for boardwalk / steps

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Old 04-29-13, 08:34 PM
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Question Footers for boardwalk / steps

So, I have these steps down to the dock at my lake house:


The previous owner built their bases with landscape timber just sitting right on the ground. So they're rotting from the ground up, so I want to rebuild them properly. I found this page, which seems to fit the bill. However, it looks like they just dug a hole and put the 4x4 in cement, like a fence post. Even with pressure treated, won't you eventually have problems with wood rot and termites?

For decks, I always made footers like this:


Of course, that's a lot more work and money. Is that necessary for a project like this, or is the fence post method OK?

PS, I'm in Georgia, if that matters.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 08:45 PM
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Actually, on second look, they didn't even put the 4x4's in cement, just resting on pea gravel. They say that's OK because it's just designed to support foot traffic. However, there's still the rot and potential termite issues. Thoughts?
 
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Old 04-29-13, 11:44 PM
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If you want to avoid rot and termite issues, build the steps/walkway using concrete or stone. Will last many lifetimes. Otherwise, be prepared to remove and replace from time to time, as you're finding out with the current configuration.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 04:44 AM
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Yeah, that was my thought originally, but like the linked article states "Paths built with concrete, stone or pavers are expensive and labor intensive. They require a lot of digging, hauling of tons of materials and the disposal of tons of soil." I'm open to suggestions if you know of an easy and inexpensive way to build the steps/walkway using concrete or stone.

The current configuration rotted due to the use of landscape timbers as a foundation. A properly-built wood boardwalk should last much longer.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 06:27 PM
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A carpenter friend suggested I just use pre-fab footer blocks like this. That definitely seems like the easiest option for this application.
 
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