How to Install Precast Concrete Deck Pier Blocks when Building a Deck
By Mark J. Donovan
|When building a deck that will sit relatively close to the finished grade of the surrounding soil, you may want to consider using precast concrete deck pier blocks. Precast concrete deck pier blocks work great for transitioning from a concrete footing pad to the actual deck framing lumber. They are fabricated with built in notches to support 2xN lumber and are designed to be placed on top of a concrete footing pad while the concrete footing is still wet. Deck pier blocks can be a little tricky to properly set and align, however with a torpedo level and plumb bob the average DIY homeowner can have success installing them.
Before installing concrete deck pier blocks it is imperative to first install concrete footing pads below the frost line for your local area.
The depth of a footing hole can vary anywhere from 12 to 60 inches depending upon where you live. In New Hampshire for example, the frost line can run as deep as 36 to 48 inches.
|Installing Deck Pier Blocks
To install a precast concrete deck pier block, first dig the hole for the concrete footing pad. Again, make sure it is deep enough so that the base of the hole sits below the frost line for your climate region. In addition, the diameter of the hole should be approximately 12 to 24 inches in diameter. It should also be wider at the base of the hole.
Then pour premixed concrete into the footing hole until the concrete is within 2 to 3 inches of the top of the hole.
Next, while the concrete footing pad is still wet and workable, place the precast concrete deck pier block on top of the poured concrete footing pad. Work the base of the deck pier block into the concrete footing several inches by pushing and twisting it downwards.
Gently tap the deck pier block to put it in proper alignment relative to the plumb bob. Also make sure the notches are properly aligned to support the deck framing correctly. The center of the precast concrete deck pier block should sit directly underneath the plumb bob. Repeat this process for all the required concrete deck pier blocks and then allow them to set up for 24 hours before continuing on with building your deck.
For help on building a deck, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.
- Using Pre-Cast Deck Piers has Many Advantages
- How to Repair a Concrete Deck Footing
- How to Raise and Replace a Deck Post
Additional Deck Building and Design Resources
Get Free Deck Building Price Quotes with No Obligation!
Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on decks from one of our pre-screened and licensed deck contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your decks price estimate.