How To Dig Deck Footings

Building a deck? Then you need to make sure it is well-made or else it might just crumble beneath your feet. One of the most important parts of building a deck is creating a proper foundation. Here is how to dig deck footings:

  • The importance of a good foundation. Properly dug deck footings are essential when building a deck in your backyard. If you go about it hastily, the wonderful new addition to your home can turn into a nightmare and collapse, possibly endangering you and your family, not to mention costing you a lot of money.
  • Planning and preparation. In order to build a solid deck with well-made deck footings, you must take the time to prepare and plan for your project. Organization and practicality are important any endeavor and digging deck footings is no different. Such an integral part of deck construction must be entered into correctly. You must consider the deck itself because your footings will depend on that style and shape. Plan the days you want to work, how many hours a day you will commit to digging, etc. Inspect the yard and take all the proper measurements, especially the right depth of the holes. Make sure you get all your permits and abide by all local safety codes and regulations. You want to do this before you start digging because any interruptions can derail your hard work. For this reason, you should also plan contingencies in case of emergencies and accidents. And of course, observe proper safety measures.
  • Use the right tools. You can dig your deck footings by hand without the help of construction tools. Be sure you are ready, able and willing to toil under the hot sun and in a very dirty and messy environment. Shovels are good tools to use but really, post hole diggers are the best tools for the job. If you have the money to spare, you can purchase or rent a mechanized auger to make the job go by faster. They allow you to dig even during poor conditions. Of course, make sure you familiarize yourself with the machinery before you start digging to avoid complications and accidents.
  • Hard work pays off. Remember, whichever way you decide to dig, by hand or with a machine, it will take a lot of work and long hours under the sun. Sometimes, it can be very easy especially if you are working with good soil and the right tools. However, a ton of things could go wrong so be ready to overcome obstacles and challenges. If you encounter rocks or any other hard objects underneath the soil, you will have to get them out and that can be difficult and require the use of more machinery like a loader with a backhoe. Make sure that the sides of the hole are compact and won’t buckle. Always keep in mind that a good base is essential to a safe and stable deck so the work is important.

Digging deck footings might sound simple enough but you must always be careful and cautious. Remember, this is a crucial aspect of your deck so you have to create a solid foundation.


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