More in Outdoors
Based on the deck's dimensions, begin by preparing the site. In our example, an existing rail fence is removed with a sledgehammer, while a jackhammer reduces the concrete slab to rubble. Note: Because the complete deck will eventually cover up this area, it's only necessary to break up the concrete and extract the bigger pieces.
Next is the process of laying out the dimensions of the new deck with stakes and string. After identifying the spots for the support posts, make sure the layout is true using a framing square.
With the layout done, the next step is using a two-man power auger to bore holes in the soil for the deck's support posts (Image 1). Make sure to dig to a depth past the frost line for the region. Then refine the sides and bottom of each hole using a posthole digger (Image 2).
Add water to a dry concrete mix in a wheelbarrow, churning it with a mason's hoe. Once the proper consistency has been established, place the support posts — which are long 4 x 4's.
With the concrete poured to the top of each hole, agitate the posts to release any trapped air. Then make sure each post is plumb using a level (Image 1). The thickness of the concrete holds the post in place. With the posts set in place, next trowel the top of the concrete sloping away from the support post for proper drainage (Image 2). Allow the concrete to dry overnight.