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How to Raise and Replace a Deck Post


By Mark J. Donovan

Question on replacing a 4x4 Deck Post with a Heftier 6x6 Deck Post

Question: I have a deck that was built several years ago and I have had a concern with the supporting deck posts that were used. The supporting deck posts, which are approximately eight feet tall, are 4x 4 pressure treated posts. I have been concerned that they are inadequate for the weight that they are holding up and I want to replace them with 6x6 pressure treated deck posts. The question I have is how can I raise and replace the deck posts?


Answer:  There are a couple of ways you can raise and replace the deck posts. One way is to use a jack designed for home construction projects. In addition, you will need several 2x4s. 


Take two of the 2x4s and nail them together such that the end side of one butts up against the flat side of the other to form a T. Repeat the process with another pair of 2x4s.


Next, temporarily install a section of 2x4 across 3 of the deck floor joists near the area where the post to be replaced resides. Use a couple of screws to hold it in place.


Next place a section, approximately 3-4 feet in length, of either a 2x 6 or 2x 8 on the ground. Make sure the section of material is level and on solid footing. The jack will rest on this surface.


Next place one of the T-formed 2x4 pieces up underneath the 2x4 that is nailed to the floor joists. Preferably locate the top of the T-formed 2x4 under the middle floor joist area that the attached 2x4 section runs across. Toe-nail in the top of the T-formed 2x4 to the section of 2x4 connected to the floor joists. This will prevent the T-formed section from slipping out when it is under load.


Now place the jack underneath the T-formed 2x4. The jack should be resting on the 2x6/2x8.


Note: You may need another small block of flat surface material to sit between the bottom of the T-formed 2x4s and the jack itself. You may also need to trim the T-formed 2x4 to length to allow the jack to be positioned under it.

Next, make sure the deck post is free to lift from the concrete base that it sits on.


Turn the jack-screw to raise the deck up. You will only need to raise the deck up about a half inch to have clearance to remove and replace the old deck post.


Once you have the deck raised, place the other 2x4 T-formed-piece between the 2x4-section attached to the floor joists and the 2x6/2x8 that is lying on the ground. You will probably need to cut this to length. The purpose of this T-formed piece is to add some safety to the project.


With the post off the ground you can simply remove it from the deck and replace it with the new 6x6 post.


An alternative to a Jack


If you do not have access to a jack, you can alternatively use a couple of 2x4s to create an inverted V to lift the deck.


In this situation, toe nail two 2x4s to the section of 2x4 that is attached to the deck joists. The 2x4s should rest on the 2x6/2x8 piece on the ground, however they must be of length that they form an inverted V.


Using a sledge hammer, wedge the two 2x4s together to form a tighter V. This will raise the deck. Once the deck is raised, attach a couple of small blocks of wood (using 16-penny nails) to the 2x6/2x8 on the ground so that they butt up against the outside edges of the two vertical 2x4s. This will prevent them from slipping.


Finally, place a 2x4 T-formed-piece between the 2x4-section attached to the floor joists and the 2x6/2x8 that is lying on the ground for added safety.


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- How to Raise and Replace a Deck Post -

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