DIY Projects

How to Build a Deck Foundation

By: Danny Lipford

Building a deck starts with a sturdy foundation. The foundation needs to be able to easily support the weight of the deck materials plus the live load of those using it. Here are the steps I take when constructing the foundation for a deck:

  • Start by laying out the location of the deck foundation so it’s square and level with the house and at the proper height to line up with the interior floor.
  • Mark the location of the footings for the deck on 8’ centers, and dig 2’x 2’ holes that are 2’ deep.
  • Cut and tie together a grid of metal rebar that will be embedded in the concrete, and position it in the hole several inches above the bottom.
  • Drive a grade pin made from rebar in the hole to mark the exact depth the concrete will be poured.
  • Fill the holes with concrete to the proper height. Steel straps are embedded in the concrete to act as tie downs for the deck framing.
  • After the concrete has set, lay a concrete block foundation
  • Framing begins with pressure treated 2”x6” blocks caps on each column.
  • 6”x6” treated sills are positioned on top of the blocks to support the floor joists.
  • 2”x10” floor joists are placed perpendicular to the sills and nailed in place.

Linking all these elements together from the concrete up provides a nice, rigid platform to support the heavy deck. Watch this video to find out more.

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How to Build a Deck Foundation