The key to a reliable, long-lasting deck begins with the foundation. This article will talk about the different deck support options commonly used today in the decking industry.
One of the most common support systems used for ground-level decks is pre-cast concrete pier blocks. These blocks are installed below the ground surface and offer a budget-friendly solution for many deck projects under 24-inches in total height. However, some high wind regions do not allow pier blocks regardless of finished deck height.
The most appealing part of pier blocks is that they can be installed and built upon immediately. But if you plan to have a substantial amount of weight on your deck, such as a spa, this type of deck support is not suitable for your application.
As mentioned above, taller decks or decks supporting large amounts of weight will require a more stable and permanent solution. For these types of projects, the most common support system is poured-in-place concrete footings. Not only does this system offer a tremendous amount of strength and support, but it also allows the builders to meet a vast array of various building codes throughout the nation.
Perhaps the only downside to poured-in-place concrete footings is the extra time needed to allow the concrete to cure before deck construction begins.
Another great option is the use of ground screws. These galvanized steel screws allow same-day installation while providing exceptional support. However, if you plan to build your deck yourself, this may not be your best choice. Ground screws typically require special equipment and trained professionals for installation.
If you are in the market for a new deck, be sure to discuss these three great options with your contractor to decide which is best for your project.