If you’re going to construct your very own deck one of the an initial considerations ~ you’ve laid out your articles is how deep your footings should be set.

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This is established by the frost line in her area and also the map listed below should give you a basic idea of exactly how deep you should go.


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What is a Frost Line

The frost line is the depth at which the soil freezes. It’s necessary to know the frost line depth for building purposes. Water tube should always be set below a frost line to stop them from freeze in the winter.

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It’s also important the the footings for a structure or a deck well below the frost line so the articles don’t change as the ground freezes and also thaws. Inspect your local building codes to identify the ideal depth past a frost heat a footing have to sit.

When to Build

If you space in a cold zone and also aren’t in a sirloin to build, it’s best to wait till spring to start digging. The ground will certainly be s by then making it simpler to destruction to the suitable depth.


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Mark a stick in ~ the proper depth and keep the within straightforward reach that your building project for this reason you deserve to take consistent measurements.

Frost line Map

This frost heat map provides a basic idea of where the frost line is in your area. If girlfriend live top top the edge of the line, it’s finest to go v the referrals of the chillier side to avoid any kind of issues.

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This map is native the nationwide Snow and also Ice Data center and shows the frost heat map throughout the joined States. Note just how it moves down from 72-inch depth to a 6-inch depth.

The best frost line depth is 100-inches as seen close to the guideline of Minnesota, north Dakota, and also Alaska, all the method to zero inches in Florida, southerly Arizona, and southern California.

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Frost heat by Zip Code

If the map isn’t accurate enough for you. Inspect your frost line by zip code or deal with using this map native the national Weather Service.

As we stated before, make sure you examine with her local building codes prior to you start digging.

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Tips because that Digging

Anytime you are digging, it’s ideal to recognize the frost line as you will know how deep the water pipes are so you can avoid them.

Here in Los Angeles wherein the soil doesn’t freeze, the irrigation and sprinkler pipes are not buried very deep, so you must be extra careful when digging around them.

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A shovel and post feet digger space all the is needed to dig a deep hole, however if you’ve got huge rocks or tough pack in her area climate a lengthy pry bar is likewise helpful.

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An auger is the fastest method to destruction holes and can save you a lot of time and money also with the price of renting. A handheld auger is typically the best option as they space cheaper to rent and easier to job-related with and maneuver. Because that a long fence line an auger in ~ the finish of a bobcat or PTO tractor is a great investment as it will dig the holes fast and accurately.