Laying Out Deck Footings
A fast and accurate way to get the holes in the right spots.
Synopsis: Getting the footings in the right spots is a crucial first step in building a deck. In this article, deck builder Greg DiBernardo shows how to determine the centerline of the footings with a simple line parallel to the house. You locate the footings on the line by first finding the edge of the deck with a line squared off the house. Photo: Andy Engel
Installing deck footings is rigorous work. Even though I use a machine-driven auger instead of digging by hand, clearing rocks and mixing and placing concrete is still hard.
The vast majority of decks are rectangular and are supported by being bolted to the house on the inside and by a built-up beam on the outside. Most deck beams are “dropped,” that is, set below so that the joists rest on the beam and cantilever beyond by a couple of feet. In some cases, the…