Proper Deck Post Support

I always call these out, but seem to always think up a different way to describe them. I call them “temporary support footing”, or “additional support blocks”.

They should not be used as permanent footings, as shown here.

Does anybody have a good “canned comment” for these?

I also posted this question on “Structure” part of this mb.

From Post Footing Narrative - InterNACHI Inspection Forum


The inspection of the deck support posts revealed there are missing footings. Defects found on decks will compromise its structural stability, safety, and may shorten its useful life. Consult with a qualified contractor for the installation of proper footings.

That’s my narrative, feel free to rip it apart. :twisted:

I don’t even consider those footings and don’t comment on them, just that there are missing footings like I find on most decks.

Pier blocks.
the makers of these show specific layout and height requirements to make a floating deck, which can be found in any home depot. Next to the blocks of course.
These are not recommeded for anything over 18inces off the ground.

Thanks, Sean, I knew their was a height recommendation but couldn’t find it. Check out what they were holding up!

BTW, I like your avatar. Is that you on the far left???


thanks, Pete, that’s pretty close to what I use…

Unless you check for footings under the blocks and also check the depth, which I don’t, I use the following.

I also forgot to mention that, at least in my neck of the woods, construction of a deck requires a permit.

This deck was obviously built without a permit. It’s a nice deck at first look, but “lipstick on a pig”.

I usually check for footings by sticking a long screwdriver beside the posts to see if I hit concrete. These things were just sitting on the ground, and the cross braces were just wrong.

The deck was a big concern for this couple as they entertained a lot, so just the poorly constructed will likely kill the deal.

Another agent lost due to a thorough, un-biased home inspection! :wink:

Good call Michael.

95%+ of the decks I inspect have something wrong. I write it all up but I always include a note to make modifications to the deck to bring it up to current standards, although many are not built right they can still be salvaged, IMO.

That is hilarious and without a doubt did not get a permit. Worried a little about side to side motion and attaching it to the house, at least here that could never work and would fall after the first winter.
I have no trouble putting on my report. Start from scratch.
Better to kill the deal then hurt some innocent people.

It typically shouldn’t be a deal killer, as the expense to install proper **Footings **is not that severe. Someone may need a “Negotiations for Dummies” course book!

Good idea. The client asked me the best way to fix it, since I have experience in deck building/repair. I could tell he wasn’t very handy, and would definitely need to hire a contractor, and everything I told him went right over his head.

The scary part? He’s a Mechanical Engineering Professor at a local college! :smiley:

Mechanical Engineers are a royal PIA! I had one in the family until he passed away from an accident caused by a (ironically) poor mechanical design of a commercial building component (not his own).

Their SOP (generally) is to design “by the book” (formulas say it should work)… build it… then adjust and correct the design as needed to achieve the goal.

Looks as if this engineer never made it to the adjust and correct stage!

Did you stick a screw drive below that to see if it was on a pad?

If you come across these pier blocks quite often maybe something like this.

“The use of above grade pier blocks lack the proper footing requirements needed to safely support this type of structure. Refer to a licensed qualified contractor to review this installation and any corrective repairs.”

yes, always. But even if it were on a pad, that wouldn’t make it stable

Thanks Gary. I’m adding that to my comment library! :smiley: