Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Ready to Start Your Project?

How to Prevent Sagging & Sinking Decks

Issometric Deck Backfill

Before you dig your frost footings, you will want to make sure the soil is properly compacted to support the deck load. Often when new houses are built, the process of digging the foundation disrupts the soil and leaves the yard unsettled. This means the entire yard will slowly drop in elevation relative to the house.

It is not uncommon for this to cause patios and driveways to crack. Likewise, if you anchor a deck to footings that are built on soil that is not properly compacted, your deck will probably sink. Needless to say, this is something you want to avoid. If you suspect your soil is unsettled, you will either have to wait for the yard to settle or dig the footings to a depth where the ground is compact. Certain kinds of soils are more problematic than others. Clay soils are particularly prone to shrinking and swelling. If you live in a new house, you may want to talk to your builder or local building inspections department to see if they have any information or suggestions. You can mark the level of the yard as it meets the house where you will be building your deck and observe it over a couple of months to see if you notice any change. If you have reason to believe settling may cause you problems, you may consider hiring a soil engineer to assess the situation, but this will result in an added cost to your project.


Popular Footings Articles
Concrete

Cutting a Concrete Pad

Learn how to use a concrete saw to cut a hole in a patio slab to install a deck footing.

Footing Types

Monolithic Pier

Compare the pros and cons of installing a solid concrete deck footing using a cardboard tube or engineered forms.

Footing Installation

Installing footings on a sloped yard

Our inspector explains how to install concrete deck footings on uneven ground.

Next Step: Framing Articles
Deck Support Columns

How to Decorate Deck Support Columns

Browse some examples of decorative deck support posts for tall decks.

Deck Framing

Access to Hot Tub Decks

How will you access the controls of your hot tub on your deck? Make sure you have space to open and operate control panels when designing your deck.

Deck Support Columns

How to Install Concrete Support Deck Posts & Columns

Learn how to install concrete deck piers to support your deck frame. Use cardboard form tubes to extend your footings above grade.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox
More Helpful Resources

Explore Articles by Topic

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Concrete

How to Prevent Sagging & Sinking Decks



Before you dig your frost footings, you will want to make sure the soil is properly compacted to support the deck load. Often when new houses are built, the process of digging the foundation disrupts the soil and leaves the yard unsettled. This means the entire yard will slowly drop in elevation relative to the house.

It is not uncommon for this to cause patios and driveways to crack. Likewise, if you anchor a deck to footings that are built on soil that is not properly compacted, your deck will probably sink. Needless to say, this is something you want to avoid. If you suspect your soil is unsettled, you will either have to wait for the yard to settle or dig the footings to a depth where the ground is compact. Certain kinds of soils are more problematic than others. Clay soils are particularly prone to shrinking and swelling. If you live in a new house, you may want to talk to your builder or local building inspections department to see if they have any information or suggestions. You can mark the level of the yard as it meets the house where you will be building your deck and observe it over a couple of months to see if you notice any change. If you have reason to believe settling may cause you problems, you may consider hiring a soil engineer to assess the situation, but this will result in an added cost to your project.


Popular Footings Articles
Concrete

Cutting a Concrete Pad

Learn how to use a concrete saw to cut a hole in a patio slab to install a deck footing.

Footing Installation

Bigfoot Footings

Learn about the advantages of using Bigfoot systems concrete footing forms. Research their testing and code compliance reports.

Concrete

Protecting From Collapse

Learn how to use cardboard sonotubes and hole covers to protect your deck footing holes from caving in and flooding before pouring concrete.

Next Step: Framing Articles
Deck Support Columns

How to Decorate Deck Support Columns

Browse some examples of decorative deck support posts for tall decks.

Deck Framing

Sistering or Joining Joists

Learn about how to sister deck joists over a beam for framing a large deck or adding onto an existing deck.

Deck Framing

Reinforcing Deck Rim or Band Joists

Learn a technique to strengthen your guard rails by installing a double rim joist and adding structural blocking to reduce bounce.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

More Helpful Resources