Should Deck Posts Be Set In Concrete (Or Use Anchors)?

If you’ve ever tried to set up your decking, whether on grass, soil or gravel, you’ll probably be angsting over the best way of making it secure. Well, you may have heard different people doing it in different ways, two of which are concrete and anchors.

You might think that the best way of securing decking that comes with legs is by setting them in concrete and having them resting on the gravel or grass surface of your yard. However, this might always be the case, as concrete comes with some very worrying design flaws.

Should Deck Posts Be Set In Concrete (Or Use Anchors)

That’s right, concrete does tend to break when you try and set them with your decking. Often the legs on the decking will be subject to huge and intense pressures, which will even cause something a hard as concrete to crack. Concrete is also susceptible to breaking when subjected to intense wind, rain and sun.

So what is the best alternative to concrete casing? How can you set up an anchor on your decking? Which is the safest option for your decking? How can you install your anchors while avoiding digging into your garden? How can you get past the tricky task of finding the frost line?

Well, if you want to know how to install your decking safely without having to resort to insecure concrete struts, then you should keep reading. We’re going to give you a few handy hints about installing your decking anchors, without having to resort to digging up half your garden.

Why Use Concrete? Is It Safe?

Concrete might seem like one of the most durable constructions, but when it comes to securing your struts, it is not a very stable option. Concrete tends to absorb moisture and you’ll soon find that the wood you have set it into will start to rot and break.

If your struts start to rot then this will compromise the entire structure of your decking. If your decking is mounted more than one story high, then you can be certain that it will cause some serious issues when you put weight on it. You want to avoid a catastrophe that could injure you and your family.

Should You Use Deck Blocks?

Deck blocks are a much safer alternative to concrete, as they will not expand under the same pressure as concrete. The concrete is rather set below the wood itself, separated by a metal footing. This metal footing with stop any water from reaching your wooden post and will overall be much more secure than a concrete casing.

How To Set Up Deck Blocks Without Digging Holes

These deck blocks do not have to be buried into the ground to be secure. Because of the even distribution of weight across the whole of your decking, then these concrete discs won’t have to support much weight. You can simply rest them on top of the gravel or the grass, just make sure that the post is positioned centrally.

Deck blocks are usually around 7 inches in height, which makes them thick enough to support the weight of your deck. The first thing that you’ll notice about deck blocks is that there are no fastenings holding the wood in place. All the is needed to keep your deck supports firm is the weight of the deck itself.

How To Use Anchors With Your Decking

Decking anchors are extremely easy to use, although you will probably need more than one person to set them up. This is because all the posts will need to be in line with each other before they are inserted into the indentation.

These deck blocks are very popular precisely because they don’t require any digging. All it requires is a little bit of coordination to get all your blocks in place. Again, this is why we would recommend that you have more than one person to set up your decking, as alignment is a crucial part of the process.

Setting Up Post Anchors

You’ll need to make sure that your decking anchors are spaced out first, in line with each post. This might take a little coordination. Traditionally, there are around 6 feet between each post, to make sure that the weight is well distributed across the decking.

Drive the anchor into the earth slightly with a jackhammer. You should make sure that you have a spirit level during this entire process to make sure that it is even. If there is one post of your decking that is uneven, it could lead to the whole thing becoming dangerously lopsided at a later date.

Another plus point of using these decking anchors is that they do not come with an additional cross-section. This means that you can line up and install your decking quickly and without the need for concrete pouring and additional tools.

These deck blocks will allow you to construct higher decking, with some homeowners deciding to build their decking up to eight feet high. You can also have a lot more versatility for which position that you want to place your decking in. You can have it facing numerous sides of your garden, although make sure to check where the sun falls in your garden before installing.

Our Final Say

As we have mentioned above, simply encasing the base of your decking in concrete will cause more problems than it solves. The water that is absorbed by the concrete will cause the wood in the center to rot, making it anything but a reliable and weatherproof alternative.

We would recommend that you using decking anchors, as they are very easy to install and actually a lot more secure. It takes minimal tools to install and you can amend them to whatever the shape of your decking is.