How to Pour Concrete Piers for Decks & Install Deck Footings

September 19, 2021
How to Pour Concrete Piers for Decks & Install Deck Footings

Searching for how to pour concrete piers for decks or how to install concrete deck footings?

When building a deck or having the professionals construct your deck, the first step in the construction process is to install the footings. The most commonly used footing for decks is a concrete pier; however, sometimes helical-pile footings are used.

It’s important to remember that just like a Kansas City house foundation, your deck foundation needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the materials used for constructing the deck and the people who will use it.

Here you can learn more about installing deck footings and concrete piers for your deck.

Keep in mind that it may be necessary to check the local building codes before getting started to understand what is required fully. If you hire Kansas City patio contractors and custom deck professionals (like us), they will handle this aspect of deck construction on your behalf.

Why Is Your Concrete Deck Footing So Important?

Just like your home, your deck requires a solid foundation to ensure it lasts. To ensure the footing is installed properly, several factors must be considered before getting started. These things include:

  • Drainage
  • Slope
  • Climate
  • Soil

The professionals will consider all these factors before starting the construction of your deck.

Soil Conditions

Soil consistency varies, which means load-bearing ability varies. If soil is loose, it has minimal load-bearing capacity. In this case, larger footings are needed than an area with compacted soil or heavy clay.

Deck Structure Loads

In any structure, you have live loads and dead loads. The dead load includes the weight of all the permanent elements of the deck. Live loads include other items such as people, furniture, and snow.

Climate Considerations

In cold areas, the soil will freeze and thaw, which causes expansion and contraction. If posts are not properly set, the movement of the soil can impact the entire deck structure causing shifting and cracks.

Our Deck Concrete Footing Installation Process

When you hire Heartland Decks for deck construction, we always start with concrete piers. During the installation, we will use piers that are a minimum of 12 inches in circumference and placed at a depth of 36 inches.

For larger or heavier decks or structures with a roof or pergola, wider piers may be used, such as ones with a width of 18 inches. However, the depth of 36 inches will remain the same. The goal of the 36-inch depth is to ensure the piers are installed below the freeze line, which provides a strong foundation for the posts to sit on and prevents potential issues.

Installation of the Deck Posts

Once the footer is installed and set, a structural support base will be put in place. This is done using a base connector that is bolted to the concrete with an anchor bolt. The holder for the post sits on top of the plate, which is then bolted together and attached to the post’s base.

With this connecting component, there is a space between the base of the wood post and the concrete. This prevents wicking and water splash on the base of the posts, helping to keep them dry.
Keep in mind that if a post sits directly on the concrete, water will reach it, which eventually leads to rot. With the structural support base, which meets all code requirements for the area, this issue is prevented, which means your posts will last longer and have fewer issues related to rot and deterioration.

Proper Deck Footing Installation

When having a deck constructed, it all starts with the footing. If this is done properly, you can feel confident your deck will have a strong, safe, and secure foundation.

Hiring professional Kansas City Deck contractors will help ensure you have this peace of mind.

Contact us today for a free custom deck consultation.