How to Install a Spread-Base Deck Footing
From digging to forming to pouring, this video shows that deck footings can be mastered in a minute.
First, dig a hole wide enough to fit the spread base — and deep enough to meet or beat the frost depth in your area. Then tamp the bottom flat. Next, place the tube on the base to establish the contact position, and cut the excess rings from the base. Then, attach the tube form to the spread base with several screws, and place the assembly in the hole. Make sure the tube is plumb, and backfill occasionally, using a tamper as you go. Once filled, cut the tube to the desired height, and then it’s time for concrete.
Keep batches manageable by loading two 80-lb. bags at a time into the mixer, turn it on, and add water, aiming the hose toward the back to prevent dry clumps from sticking to the mixer. Mix until the consistency is wet enough to hang together without dry spots, but folds over on itself as the mixer spins. Use a wheelbarrow and shovel to fill the footing. The number of batches needed will vary depending on the size of the form — this footing will take eight bags. As the tube fills, plunge a length of wood into the form — a technique called “rodding” — to help settle the concrete into any voids. To finish, fill the form a little higher than its edges, and flatten the top with a mason’s float.