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Deck Footing Frost Depth Map

When you excavate your footings you will need to dig below the frost line.This is the depth at which the moisture present in the soil is expected to freeze. Once your footings are buried below the frost line the ground will act as a barrier to insulate the soil below the footing from freezing in the winter.

The depth you are required to set your frost footings will vary from region to region across the country. If you live in a warm climate like South Florida where frost rarely ever occurs you may be allowed to place your footings on grade, but in very cold regions like Minnesota and Canada you will need to dig down 48” or more. Always check with your local building inspections department to see what is required in your area. Furthermore you must install footings at least 12” below unsettled soil. If you are building into the side of a steep hill or beside a retaining wall you will have to maintain the minimum distance to grade not only vertically but also laterally. In order to achieve a suitable lateral barrier you may need to dig your foundation much deeper than on a flat surface.



Comments, Questions and Reviews


I have a friend who wants to build a tower/overlook on wooden columns. He wants it to be 50 ft in the air. It will be 10x10. I need to know what size the columns should be, how deep the footings need to be, and does he need to calculate the wind speeds? The frost line is around 32 in. This will also not be connected to anything. It will be it''s own structure.

posted by beeper at 5/1/2015 10:58:04 PM

I plan on building a deck that is roughly 10''x30''. The deck will start about 5'' above the ground. Given the height how deep should I make the holes? There will be railing all across the deck. Also are 4x4 posts good for that also? If location matters I am located in central Tx. San Antonio to be exact. No snow here. Please email me

posted by Louie Navarro at 11/22/2014 1:00:15 PM

You should have at least 12" deep footings. I would recommend using 6x6 support posts with a post base and concrete anchors.

posted by mike at 11/24/2014 8:43:22 AM