Ground Level Deck Footing Options
Because ground level decks in most cases dont require you to go deeper than the frost line, you have more options when considering what type of footing to use. These relaxed restrictions allow for footings that are sometimes cheaper or significantly easier to install than footings for standard decks. Below is a comprehensive list of the options you have to choose from.
Pergolas Using Deck Foot Anchor
You can even build ground anchored pergolas using the so long as the pergola is built to include any necessary bracing to keep it stiff and rigid.
The can easily support the weight but it does not provide lateral resistance for an eight foot tall structure. Be sure to brace posts to beams as necessary to make the structure rigid.
In this case, the deck was framed around the pergola. But the pergola could also stand on its own.
Using Variable Size Wood Or Metal Posts
The pergola post brackets can be used with a wide range of different post sizes. Posts can be wood, metal, hollow or with closed bottoms.
When using a solid wood post or a closed bottom metal post, an access hole for the drive head of the auger must be bored into the post .
A common bi-metal hole saw can be used to cut a hole in the flat bottom of metal post. This hole allows the drive head of the auger to reside inside the post.
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To A Poured Concrete Patio
If you already have a concrete patio, you can purchase anchors to attach your pergola to this existing pad.
After determining where the posts will be placed, use a drill to create a hole at the center of where the first anchor will be placed. Clear the dust, and then use a ratchet to attach the anchor and tighten it. The anchor is sufficiently tightened when there is absolutely no play when you try to move or wiggle it.
Repeat the process for all posts, and then you’re ready to attach your posts and continue with construction of your pergola.
Convex Plate For Ground Contact
- Install the auger and plate.
- Place post brackets along the edge of the tape.
- Drive metal drilling screws through the brackets and the plate.
- Remove the brackets and the tape.
- Put the brackets over the holes in the plate and drive the screws home.
- Put the post in place and drive screws through the brackets to secure it.
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Free Standing Deck: What Does That Mean
Let’s take a closer look at what a freestanding deck is in order to understand how the Deck Foot Anchor can be used to support it.
A “Free Standing” deck, also called a “floating” deck, is not supported by a dwelling. The deck is not attached to a ledger board which is in turn bolted through to the rim joist of the floor deck of the dwelling.
As stated above, a deck that is not supported by a dwelling need not have footings that extend below the frost line . This saves builders and DIYers the major expense and skill of ripping apart the envelope of the house in order to secure to the ledger and install the proper flashing to keep the connection dry.
Allow 3/4″ to 1″ of clearance between the siding of the house and the deck for any seasonal movement that may occur.
A floating deck will simply rise up and down over the course of the winter.
Fill The Concrete Tubes
Fill the concrete tube form all the way to its top with wet concrete. Push one galvanized post anchor into the wet concrete, and ensure it is square with the pergola’s shape and is level, both vertically and horizontally. Most post anchors have an upper and lower portion with a horizontal plate in the middle on which a post will rest. This plate should be even with the top of the wet concrete.
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To A Concrete Footing
An alternative to burying your posts in concrete is to create a concrete footing. Like the previous method, you’ll dig a hole and ultimately fill it with concrete. However, instead of inserting the pergola poles into the wet concrete, you’ll insert an anchor. Once the concrete is set, you can secure your pergola poles to the anchor using a bracket.
Does A Pergola Need To Be Anchored
Yes, a pergola must be anchored to the ground. The most secure option is to set your posts in concrete. You dig holes that are about the height of your post and one foot wide. So if you have a 12-foot post, youd dig a hole about four feet deep. Then you set your post in the hole, pour the concrete, and let it harden.
In cold climates, you may need to dig the hole deeper in the ground. Otherwise, the posts can become unsettled as the ground freezes and thaws over time. The point where the ground freezes is called the frost line. This point varies depending on where youre located.
You can also anchor the pergola to the joists under your deck. On tall decks, make sure your deck wood is strong enough to support the pergola. Otherwise, the deck could collapse, which is catastrophic. Consult a building professional and youll have a much easier time installing your pergola.
Thats all for our post Can you put a pergola on a raised deck? Low decks are OK but exercise caution when installing a pergola on a deck more than a few feet off the ground.
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Option #: Build A Deck Without Digging Holes Using Post Anchors
A post anchor is a bracket designed to hold a post with flanges underneath. Instead of digging, the flanges are driven into the ground by hammering on a bit inserted into the bracket with a sledge or a jackhammer. The post is then inserted into the bracket and held in place with screws. Post anchors make it easy to install a fence post without cement or other types of anchoring. Another huge advantage of post anchors is that they can help keep your fence posts from rotting by protecting the wood from direct, constant contact with damp soil. On their own, these are suitable anchors for a fence or a light structure like an arbor.
When theyre driven through a base plate and pounded into the soil with a jackhammer, they make a suitable foundation for a heavier structure like a deck, and are a little more secure than deck blocks. The anchor is in the ground instead of resting on top of it, and if driven in with a jackhammer, the compressed earth beneath the foundation plate will help keep them from shifting.
The first and most noticeable advantage of using post anchors rather than deck blocks is that the post is fixed firmly in place without needing additional cross pieces. Being tied to the ground instead of resting on top of it will keep the post in place during construction and will make building the deck a lot easier.
Double Overlapping Flashing Is Essential
Thefirst layer of flashing extends from under the ledger to at least 4″above the cut line of the siding. The second layer slides over thislayer and will hang over the ledger board with a drip edge to directwater down.
Go up high enough under the existing siding to ensurethings stay dry. If you are dealing with a masonry facade you have aton more work to do and that is a lesson all unto itself.
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Anchoring Floating Deck And Pergola
I want to build a floating deck with a pergola but I don’t want to set posts in concrete.
My yard is mostly shale with about 5 inches of actual topsoil, if that.
My question is, could I put treated 4×4 or 6x6s on the ground and anchor them with rebar, going straight through and into the shale? Or would that be too weak to hold it? So posts on the ground, held down with rebar, and then the vertical posts attached to the horizontal ones.
The highest winds we get in my area would be around 50mph, so I’m trying to figure out if the weight of the deck and pergola, plus the rebar anchors, would be safe enough.
I suppose you could do what you’re describing but, my years of building deck and fence in college tells me it’s a bad idea.
Even with rock and shale wood resting on the ground picks up water, which accelerates rot, even if the wood is treated. Also, nearly all deck framing assumes strong anchor points, so a wooden base would have more lateral movement than most anchoring systems.
If you don’t like posts in concrete I’d recommend looking at piers to replace the posts. These are concrete cylinders that the entire deck framing rests upon.
If you get 50 MPH winds, then a gust would easily be a very temporary 70 MPH. Even with low winds of half of that, I can’t imaging rebar directly in dirt having enough surface area contact with the surronding earth the hold back an 8 foot lever being pushed on it’s top end with 50 MPH winds.
Pergola & Arbor Footings: Best Options Compared
When youre building garden structures like pergolas and arbors one of the key decisions is selecting the right kind of. Footing there are several options and ive used all of them at one time or other but i now have. Settled on the best one in this video ill review three popular options and give you the pros and cons. Of each one then ill reveal the one that i like the best at the end of the video ill.
Also show you some of the pergola s and arbors that i have in my 6 acre garden there are. Three main options for footings the one on the left is the post inserted directly in a concrete pillar the. Middle one also uses a concrete pillar but makes use of a metal anchor to hold the post above ground. The last one inserts the post directly into the ground the post in the concrete pillar has historically been the. Most popular choice it is still used a lot especially for fence posts because its very simple to make dig.
A hole pouring some concrete insert the post and wait until the concrete hardens if you use the quick dry. Concrete you can have a hardened post in about 40 minutes using sonotubes will reduce the amount of concrete you. Need and make a nicer looking pillar using this option does result in a very sturdy post that is more. Stable than using an anchor in the concrete but there are two problems with this option the first is that. Unless you do this a lot it is not easy to get the post exactly where you want to end.
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Lower Your Materials Bill By 30% Or More
Check your materials estimate and you will find that the cost of traditional footings is easily 25% of your total bill and more likely 30% or more. Yes, more! And this does not even include the time taken to mix all that cement.
If your deck can be built as a free standing structure you can avoid all of this extra expense and effort.
Can You Put A Pergola On A Raised Deck
Are you making some renovations to your outdoor patio? If youre an avid DIYer, an outdoor cover like a pergola is a great option. Perhaps youve seen people install freestanding pergolas on their outdoor patios. But, you have a deck on your patio. Can you put a pergola on a raised deck?
You can install a pergola on a low elevated deck as long as it has stable supports. For the best support, the banisters of your deck can support the pergola. They should run two to three feet into the ground and be set in concrete. In cold climates, dig three to four feet deep for additional support.
You can also install banisters through your deck to the floor, but its less common and can compromise the structural integrity of your deck. Its recommended to hire a professional for the installation.
Another solution is to install supports on the deck itself, attached to the deck joists. Just make sure they can support the weight of your pergola. Use lightweight wood for the roof. On tall elevated decks, keep in mind that wind can be a problem. Make sure your pergola supports are securely attached to the joists in your deck.
Heres a short video that walks through the installation process as well as some tips and tricks.
For a more fully involved walkthrough, check out the 90-minute video below. The homeowner installs the foundation for his deck along with the pergola.
Heres a short video that walks you through the installation process step-by-step.
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Low Or High Elevation Decks
You can build your deck with joists as low as 2-3 above grade if you wish. Simply hang the joists from the perimeter joist. If you want to extend the deck beyond the footing, extend the side perimeter joists 6-10 and fill with blocking joists along the length.
EASILY UP TO SIX FEET
With proper bracing in both directions from 6×6 posts to beams, you can make a six-foot high freestanding deck as solid as a rock. Its possible to go even higher but it is not intended to support decks at a second-floor elevation.
How Many Footings Do I Need
The Rule of Thumb is 6′-0″ apart for each footing. This corresponds to a design load of 50 psf and tributary areas over each footing of 36 sqft.
So the total load imposed on the soil below each footing would be a maximum of 1800 psf as the footing is just slightly larger than 1 sqft.
If you have a large deck where three or more beams are going to be used, consider adding one additional footing along the interior beam. This is because the tributary loads of any structure are always greatest in the middle.
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Build A Deck Without Digging Holes Using A Deck Post Base And Post Anchor
Ive built many decks, and the hardest part is always digging the holes. Its dirty work digging into the ground. In order to get enough space to ensure the posts are perfectly vertical, its normal to dig the hole wider than is strictly necessary for the post. When you add in the need to dig down past the frost line to keep the freezing ground from heaving the post up during winter, this can make for a big hole in the ground.
Unfortunately, nearly all of the methods of anchoring a post in the ground involve digging. Even foundations where youre not actually putting a post into the ground require you to dig down deep in order to pour the concrete for a pier or footer. In fact, until recently there was no good way to build a deck without digging holes to anchor it unless you happened to be lucky enough to be building onto an existing concrete slab. The universal disdain for digging has not gone unnoticed, though, and there are now a couple of foundation systems that spare deck builders from the task of digging.
Frost: What Happens With A Free Standing Deck
A deck that does not have frost footings will float on the surface of the grade if the soil freezes and expands in the winter time.
Wet clay will expand the most and sandy soil the least. It will then settle back down again in the spring when the soil thaws.
This movement is virtually imperceptible unless you measure it against the side of your house.
The amount of annual up and down movement depends on the amount of water in the soil and the depth of the frost line.
An exceptionally cold winter with wet clay and four feet of frost could easily expand the soil by ¼” to ½”.
But on the Titan Deck Foot Anchor, your deck will safely weather the ride.
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What People Are Saying About Us
Titan Wood Post AnchorMy wife and I did some research and found your product and bought a few to try out and boy were we impressed. After installing on two of the posts there was a huge difference in the stability. We immediately ordered 15 more to install on rest of the posts. I thought installation was very easy and we now have peace of mind knowing that our railing is safe. We also have a friend that is redoing a deck and highly recommend they check out your decking system. Oh I almost forgot about the quick service which didn’t hold up our project. Thank you for a quality product as advertised.Bradley Parrent – Paris, KY
Snap’n Lock Baluster KitsWe used the Snap’n Lock Baluster System for our deck railing and we LOVED it. It was so easy to install and looks great! All of our neighbors have been asking about it. They have never seen anything like it.Linda Johnson – Gualala, CA
LOVE this product! This deck took about 21 post and there was no way I was going to dig holes and pour concrete all week. Titan deck feet went in to fast and were extremely strong and secure. When I made a mistake in measurement and didn’t center one of the post it was so easy to reverse drill and correct! Thanks for this great design! 10+ stars! Mike S
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