4x4 deck braces in dirt no footing. Sugestions?
Just bought a home that has a "new" deck on the back. The deck has
started to lean away from the house, so I planed in lifting it and
re-secure the footings, simple right?
I poked around with a screw driver before I started, and it Seems that
there are not any existing footings, I guess there just in the dirt. .
. so this is my question, I don't have a lot of experience, I was
going to dig down to the bottom of the 4x4. Then lift it a bit, and
put (what are those cardboard tubes called) around the leg, and fill
with quick creat. And call it a day. But since this 4x4 has been in
the dirt for a while, do I need to "fool" with it or treat it or do
anything to it, to prevent more work in the future? Should I go about
this differently? Any good places I can go and read? Or web sights
worth checking out.
What I would do in this situation, (since I have already had just this same
situation before) is to plan on replacing the wooden posts since the bottom
has probably started to rot.
But your idea of using the Redi-Form and filling it quick-crete is the right
You may need to use a temporary post to support the deck while you are
pouring the footing and placing the new post (or old post, whichever you
find the best option)
You are being very smart to go ahead and fix this problem now, because it
won't be long before the entire deck comes crashing down.
I had a similiar problem with my mother's porch. I made a pretty good
temporary fix by jacking the porch up and laying a pair of 4x8x16 blocks
on each side of each post, then bolting a pair of 2x4s to the 4x4 to
transfer the weight to the concrete. Not an ideal or forever solution
but still should last many years and was easy & fast to do.
free men own guns - slaves don't
Pretty close, but:
plan on having those cardboard tubes(Usually called Sonotubes,
regardless of who makes 'em) stick up enough so that you can make the
top of the footing be a couple of inches above the ground level.
If you're where things go below freezing in the winter, take the trouble
do the job right and dig the holes deep enough to get the bottom of the
concrete below the "frost line" for your area.
Obviously you'll cut off the existing 4x4 posts at the right height to
suit your newly made concrete footings. A chain saw would be handy for
Go to the building supply store and get some steel post footing
brackets. They're cheap enough, and will keep the bottom of the posts
about an inch off the concrete so theym will be less likely to start
rotting there. You can secure those metal brackets to the concrete by
plopping a lag bolt through a bracket hole before the concrete sets, so
the posts won't skid sideways if some fat bastard gets drunk and
stumbles into one. Makes for a much more "pro" look to the job too.
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying."
From what you have described it sounds like your deck was constructed
by an amateur, most likely without a permit. Do yourself a favor and
let a professional inspect the deck and recommend any needed repairs.
An improperly constructed deck can collapse and cause serious injury
How high above the ground is the deck? How is the deck attached to the
house? Is it nailed or is it attached using lag bolts? (Guess which is
wrong and which is correct.)
If it were me I would temporarily support the deck, (make sure you lock the
access door out onto the deck), remove the existing 4x4, dig the whole for
the tube to the correct depth, pour concrete, and add a deck footing bracket
to keep the 4x4 support off the concrete.
Check this out:
lots of info here:
I missed the original post and any responses. Did anyone mention
pre-cast concrete 4x4 footings? I think the big boxes carry those, too.
Dunno if code allows them to be used to support an entire deck, but
they're more convenient than mixing concrete.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.