Footings under PT landings

Todays inspection had 2 step landing combonations made from PT. The posts are 4x4 but none of them are on footings, just sitting in the dirt. The units are not attached to the house.

My question, I think they are OK because they are not attached to the structure and therefor will not harm anything when the frost heaves them around. Am I right in this thinking?



Well, in my opinion, no. The posts should be below frost on adequate footings and the railing should be of a graspable size. :smiley:

The posts do not need to be below the frost line but a footing should be, if the deck/landing becomes unstable and someone walks out on to it, it could fall over injuring someone.

Larry’s right about the handrails too, those don’t appear to be grip able

The only problem I can see with the frost heave is it could affect the landing in relation to the rise between the landing and the door threshold.

The handrail is a 2x4 on its side.

Often, steps such as that are based on 4" thich concrete slabs on the ground. I don’t think deep footings are necessary, but the posts should not be in contact with the earth.


…and your reasoning?

Termite bait. :mrgreen:

Not in NH, very rare in Scotts area! Too damm cold in the winter.

Ok, then I go with dry rot.?:wink:

These people are very smat ya know.

It’s not permanently attached to the house, therefore they can’t be taxed for a deck!:mrgreen:

It is also not considered a safe exit point.:shock:

It is likely that the posts are not on concrete footings because the use of treated wood. Even treated they can still rot - just takes longer. IMO wood to earth contact should always be called out no matter where you live. Dry rot in Todd’s hood and moist crud in the midwest. :wink:

Items such as stairs that will not be materially affected by frost heave are not required to have deep footings. I have for decades been specifying concrete pads under the ends of the stairs, so that the wood will not contact the earth, and so that a natural point of wear is eliminated.

The former New York state building code had verbiage that supported this practice. It’s too late at night to check the IRC for similar verbiage, but no code official has ever required footings under stair stringers, and I know of no problems arising from this practice.