Decks are not only functional and beautiful, but add value to your home.
If you're building your own deck, remember that deck posts are the structural key to a solid deck foundation. Therefore, it is important they be installed properly.
This task is one of moderate difficulty, but by following the directions, it can be successfully accomplished using two people with a general understanding of carpentry.
Tools and Materials
  • Saber saw
  • Miter saw
  • Tape measure
  • Line level
  • Square
  • Power drill with screwdriver bits
  • Post cap bracket
  • 4x4 posts
  • 1x4 boards
  • Galvanized deck screws

How to Position Deck Posts

Step 1: Determining Post Height
The height of your deck posts will be determined by your deck plans, or by the height of your ledger. Add an additional six inches to the height of the posts and then make your cuts.
Step 2: Securing the Deck Posts to the Piers
Set a post in the pier atop one of the concrete pads. Take two pieces of 1x4 board and place them 90 degrees from each other with the top against the post and the bottom at a 45-degree angle out from the post. Make sure the top parts of the 1x4s are below the point on the post where you'll install the deck beam.
Drive a stake into the ground where each 1x4 rests and make sure the post is plumb and level. Than, drive screws through the 1x4 braces into the post and the stakes to keep the post stabilized. Drive deck screws through the pier and into the post to secure it in place. Follow these steps for each post.
Step 3: Cut the Posts Again
The deck needs to be installed so it has a gradual slant that will allow for rain water runoff. Therefore, the posts need to be cut to allow for the slight grade.
Take a long, straight 2x4 and rest it on the ledger so that the side of the board is against the posts. Place a level on the 2x4 and hold it level. Then, lower the far end of the board a half-inch for every six feet of distance from the house. Mark the posts at the bottom side of the 2x4 board. Measure down from this line the height of a joist (typically 5 and ½ inches) and make another line. Use the square to mark all four sides of the post along this line.
Use the saber saw to cut along this second line and this will give you the grade you need for your deck. Be sure you keep the blade as level as possible while making your cut so the top of the post can easily accommodate the post cap bracket.
Slide the post cap bracket over the top of the post and secure it in place using either deck screws or lag bolts. With the deck posts now installed, they’re ready for the girders.

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