Low Level Free Standing Deck and Precast Cement Piers

by Grant
(Olympia, WA)

I wish to build a low level free-standing deck in the back yard (16ft x 7.5ft). It will be up against the house. The joist will run away from the house for the 7.5ft width.

I wish to use precast cement piers WITHOUT cement footings.

Will this be okay and if so what would you recommend?

I'm in Olympia and it rains most of the year. I plan to use PT wood for the framing and recycled plastic deck boards.

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May 26, 2011
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Depends on Soil Bearing Capacity
by: Editor-Rich Bergman

Using precast cement piers can be a cost effective and reliable method of constructing a low level deck or any free standing deck for that matter.

But like everything it depends on the details of which I do not know. For example what is the diameter of the pier? 10", 12", 16", 24"

What is the soil type you are building on? This is the most important question of all. Very hard stable soil can support greater loads per square foot. This means harder soil might easily support an 8" diameter pier. Lower bearing capacity might mean you need a 24" pier. or you have to use many more 8" piers to spread out the load over more square foot area.

So that knowledge is critical.

You really should spend some time playing around with the Deck Footings Calculator as it explains all of this and gives you results based on many parameters.

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