How To Dig Holes For Deck Footings?

How to Dig Holes for Deck Footings

Building a deck is a great way to add outdoor living space to your home. But before you can start building, you need to dig the holes for the footings. This is an important step that will ensure your deck is sturdy and safe.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of digging holes for deck footings. We’ll provide tips on how to choose the right location for your holes, how to dig them to the correct depth, and how to properly support the deck framing.

So if you’re ready to start building your dream deck, read on for all the information you need to know about digging holes for deck footings.

Step Tools Instructions
1 Shovel Dig a hole that is 1 foot wider and 1 foot deeper than the post.
2 Posthole digger Use a posthole digger to dig the hole.
3 Tape measure Measure the depth of the hole to make sure it is 1 foot deep.
4 Level Use a level to make sure the hole is level.
5 Concrete Pour concrete into the hole to create a footing for the post.

How to Dig Holes for Deck Footings?

Digging holes for deck footings is a necessary first step in building a new deck. The size and depth of the holes will depend on the size and weight of the deck, as well as the type of soil you have.

This guide will walk you through the process of digging holes for deck footings, from choosing the right tools and materials to digging the holes to the correct depth.

Tools and Materials

The following tools and materials are needed to dig holes for deck footings:

  • A shovel
  • A post hole digger
  • A level
  • A tape measure
  • A plumb bob
  • A sledgehammer
  • A post cap
  • Concrete mix
  • Rebar
  • Lumber

Digging the Holes

Once you have gathered your tools and materials, you can begin digging the holes.

1. Choose the location of your deck. The first step is to choose the location of your deck. The holes for the footings should be dug in the same location as the posts for your deck.
2. Mark the location of the holes. Once you have chosen the location of your deck, you need to mark the location of the holes. Use a shovel or a post hole digger to dig a small hole at each corner of the deck.
3. Dig the holes. Use a post hole digger to dig the holes for the footings. The holes should be deep enough to support the weight of the deck. The depth of the holes will depend on the type of soil you have. In general, the holes should be at least 3 feet deep.
4. Level the holes. Once you have dug the holes, you need to level them. Use a level to make sure that the holes are level from side to side and front to back.
5. Install the post caps. Once the holes are level, you can install the post caps. The post caps will help to keep the dirt from falling into the holes.
6. Pour the concrete. Once the post caps are installed, you can pour the concrete into the holes. Use a shovel to spread the concrete evenly in the holes.
7. Add the rebar. Once the concrete has set, you can add the rebar. The rebar will help to reinforce the footings.
8. Install the posts. Once the rebar is in place, you can install the posts. The posts should be installed in the center of the holes.
9. Attach the deck to the posts. Once the posts are installed, you can attach the deck to the posts. Use screws or nails to attach the deck to the posts.

Digging holes for deck footings is a relatively simple process, but it is important to do it correctly. By following these steps, you can ensure that your deck is built on a solid foundation.

Here are some additional tips for digging holes for deck footings:

  • Start by digging a small hole at each corner of the deck. This will help you to mark the location of the holes.
  • Dig the holes wider than they are deep. This will help to prevent the holes from collapsing.
  • Dig the holes at a slight angle. This will help to drain water away from the footings.
  • Fill the holes with gravel before pouring the concrete. This will help to improve drainage and prevent the concrete from cracking.
  • Allow the concrete to set for at least 24 hours before attaching the deck to the posts. This will give the concrete time to cure and harden.

3. Installing the Footings

Once you have dug the holes for your deck footings, it’s time to install them. This is a relatively simple process, but it’s important to do it correctly to ensure that your deck is safe and stable.

To install the footings, you will need:

  • The footings themselves
  • Concrete mix
  • A shovel
  • A tamper
  • A level
  • A plumb bob

1. Place the footings in the holes. The footings should be placed in the center of the holes, with the top of the footing flush with the ground.
2. Pour concrete into the holes. Use a shovel to pour concrete into the holes until they are filled to about halfway up the sides of the footings.
3. Tamper the concrete. Use a tamper to tamp the concrete down until it is firm and level.
4. Check the level of the footings. Use a level to check the level of the footings. If they are not level, add or remove concrete as needed until they are.
5. Install the anchor bolts. Once the concrete has set, install the anchor bolts into the footings. The anchor bolts should be long enough to extend through the footing and into the ground below.

Once the footings are installed, you can move on to the next step: building the deck frame.

4. Backfilling the Holes

Once the footings are installed, it’s important to backfill the holes. This will help to support the footings and prevent them from shifting.

To backfill the holes, you will need:

  • Soil
  • A shovel
  • A tamper

1. Remove the forms from the holes. If you used forms to hold the concrete in place, remove them before backfilling the holes.
2. Fill the holes with soil. Use a shovel to fill the holes with soil until they are level with the surrounding ground.
3. Tamper the soil. Use a tamper to tamp the soil down until it is firm and compact.

Once the holes are backfilled, you can move on to the next step: building the deck frame.

How deep should I dig my deck footing holes?

The depth of your deck footing holes will depend on the type of soil you have and the weight of your deck. In general, you will need to dig your holes at least 4 feet deep. However, if you have sandy soil, you may need to dig them even deeper to ensure that they are stable.

What size should my deck footing holes be?

The size of your deck footing holes will depend on the size of your deck posts. The holes should be large enough to accommodate the posts and the concrete footings. In general, you will need to dig the holes about 1 foot wider and 1 foot deeper than the posts.

What type of material should I use for my deck footings?

The best material for your deck footings will depend on the type of soil you have. In general, concrete is a good choice for most soils. However, if you have expansive soil, you may need to use a different material, such as treated lumber or piers.

How do I install deck footings?

To install deck footings, you will need to:

1. Dig the holes for the footings.
2. Place the footings in the holes.
3. Fill the holes with concrete.
4. Allow the concrete to cure.

What are the best practices for digging deck footing holes?

The best practices for digging deck footing holes include:

  • Using the right tools and equipment.
  • Digging the holes at the correct depth and size.
  • Installing the footings correctly.
  • Following all safety precautions.

What are some common mistakes people make when digging deck footing holes?

Some common mistakes people make when digging deck footing holes include:

  • Digging the holes too shallow or too deep.
  • Using the wrong type of material for the footings.
  • Not installing the footings correctly.
  • Not following all safety precautions.

What can I do to prevent deck footing holes from sinking?

To prevent deck footing holes from sinking, you can:

  • Dig the holes at the correct depth and size.
  • Use a good quality concrete mix.
  • Compact the soil around the footings.
  • Install the footings correctly.

What are the signs that my deck footing holes are sinking?

The signs that your deck footing holes are sinking include:

  • The deck is sagging or uneven.
  • The deck posts are leaning.
  • The deck is making creaking or cracking noises.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your deck inspected by a professional to determine if the footings need to be repaired or replaced.

In this blog post, we have discussed how to dig holes for deck footings. We have covered the following topics:

  • The different types of footings and their uses
  • The tools and materials you will need
  • The steps involved in digging the holes
  • Tips for safety and success

We hope that this information has been helpful and that you will be able to successfully dig the holes for your deck footings.

Here are a few key takeaways from this blog post:

  • The type of footing you need will depend on the size and weight of your deck.
  • The depth and width of the holes will need to be sufficient to support the weight of the deck.
  • It is important to dig the holes in a straight line and to the correct depth.
  • Be sure to wear proper safety gear when digging the holes.

By following these tips, you can successfully dig the holes for your deck footings and get one step closer to building your dream deck.

Author Profile

Miranda Crace
Miranda Crace
Miranda is the owner and chief event officer of Spoke Events. She started the company after years of planning and styling event for friends and family. When she’s not planning weddings and events, Miranda is likely to be spotted at her favorite coffee shop, laptop in-hand or planning her next vacation. Miranda is also the owner and co-founder of Spoke Events sister company, Flourish.

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