DIY Network

How to Secure a Sliding House

These step-by-step instructions show how to secure a sliding house by backfilling under the deck, securing the deck posts and building a new bulkhead.

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $15,000 - $25,000

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Backfill Under the Deck

Rather than shoveling the backfill underneath the deck, it would be easier to load the dirt in from the top. Begin by removing the deck boards from the area where the backfill is needed.

Once the boards are out of the way, begin loading in the dirt one wheelbarrow at a time. Make sure the dirt reaches the level of the original footer and goes all the way to the top of the retaining wall.

Use a garden hose to water down the backfill. This will help settle out any air pockets and compact the soil.

Repeat this process underneath the entire back deck of the house.

Step 2: Secure the Posts

To secure the posts, first remove the existing post. Cut the post with a saw and knock it out using a mallet.

Put the new footer and post in place. With a drill, secure the post in place using bolts. Finish the post by staining it to match the rest of the deck.

Step 3: Shed Away the Water

To help shed water away from the house and prevent future problems with erosion, lay down a plastic cover. Spread the builder's plastic over the desired area.

Tack the edge of the plastic using a furring strip. Once in place, slit the sheet at every post so that the plastic cover acts like a skirt. Then re-tape the seams.

Once the plastic cover is in place, replace the deck boards and drill back into place.

Step 4: Set the Posts

Remove any of the existing rotted boards using a mallet to knock them out of place. Dig holes for the new 4" x 4" posts. Cut the ends of the posts to create stakes and then place one at each hole.
Mix the batch of concrete following the manufacturer's instructions. Set the posts in the holes by pouring the cement into the base.

While the cement gets a chance to set, prepare the boards for the new bulkhead. Paint a coat of preservative wood sealant onto each of the boards. Apply liberally and allow it to soak into the wood. This will extend the life of the wooden boards.

As the boards dry, use a level and chalk line to mark where the new boards should be secured to the posts.

Step 5: Prepare the Tieback Posts

Drill a hole, insert the cables (Image 1) and secure loosely with stainless eyebolts and washers. The tiebacks will be tightened once the posts are in place.

Note: Consult a professional to determine the proper placement of each tieback post in your backyard.

Once the tiebacks are prepared (Image 2), the wooden boards have dried, and the cement base of each post has set, you may proceed in constructing the bulkhead structure (Bulkhead: type of retaining wall designed to prevent sliding or land erosion).

Step 6: Construct the Bulkhead

Install and secure each of the treated boards to the posts. Continue until the entire wall is complete.

Lay down a filter screen at the bottom of the trench created by the old and new wall. Then lay down a corrugated drainpipe on top of the filter and run it along the entire base of the trench. The filter and drainpipe will allow any excess groundwater to channel safely at either end of the wall.

To complete the bulkhead (retaining wall), grab the wheelbarrow and backfill the trench.