Placing Beams Directly on Footings
I'm planning to build a low (16") deck with beams resting directly on the Titan Deck Foot anchor (no posts). For your product, since it rests directly on grade, I would therefore have to ensure that the ground is perfectly level to get level beams.
Also, there is no slot in the 'saddle' to allow for misaligned footings?
This is a great question. If you are using the deck foot anchor in order to rest your deck as low to the grade as possible - and with the deck foot anchor you can set beams as low as 2" above the grade if you really want to go that low - there are a couple things to consider.
Yes, the footings all have to be close to perfectly level with each other. And that means the grade also would have to be levelled reasonably close. However if all the footings are within one to one and one half inches from each other you can use shims or spacers in the low areas to support under the beam in the bracket and still have enough length of the side vertical bracket to easily secure the beam.
This technique is great if you need it or want tf but yes, there does have to be a certain degree of parity among all the footings.
Your next question about misaligned footings needs to be addressed. If you are supporting a beam with three or more footings than it becomes important that all the footing are no more that a half inch to one inch off of the imaginary center line running the length of the proposed beam location.
The reason is obvious and that is because the beam will not fit in the brackets that are too far out of line. However, if you just use two 2x8s with the 4x4 or three 2x8s with the 6x6 post bracket and do not install a spacer between the laminated 2x material then the width of the beam is about 1/2" smaller than the post bracket opening.
This give you some room to play with and be off line by a little bit. So if you hit a rock and cannot locate the beam exactly where you first wanted, you can move the location down the imaginary beam center line a bit forward or backward until you can drive the auger all the way down.Beams Set On Post Brackets Near House
If you look closely at this photo you will see near the house that the beam has been set right on the post brackets of the deck foot anchor. This allows the beam to be 2" above grade. And the perimeter joists are attached to the beam and each sequential beam as you move further from the house. So the joists and beams are flush with each other and the infield joists will be hung with joist hangers.
This is one useful technique you might consider.
This is a great question and I hope this has explained things reasonably well for you and other visitors.
You can also read more about the deck foot anchor here.
2016 Update: Laterally Adjustable Post Bracket
For those of you who were asking about a lateral adjustment feature to the post brackets on the Titan Deck Foot Anchor, a new bracket has been developed and will be made available later in 2016.
This new post bracket is perfect for all previous applications but in addition now allows for up to 2" of variance off a straight line so that a builder can run a common beam over an infinite number of footings and still be able to ensure each post bracket is perfectly aligned with the next.
Thanks for you feedback. The Titan development team listens very closely...