The traditional method of securing deck footings into the ground is by pouring concrete and securing the posts within the concrete. While this construction method is still widely used, concrete deck footings are time-consuming to install and can lack long term stability.
The alternative is one that Integrity Fencing uses on all our decking installs: Diamond Piers.
Piers for Deck Footings
A Diamond Pier is a type of deck footing. It consists of a piece of concrete with four holes in it and steel pins going through the holes into the ground. It is often referred to as a pin foundation system. Diamond Piers are structurally rated footings for decks, gazebos, pergolas, screened-in porches, and other similar structures.
Diamond Piers are an advanced approach to building footings for decks. They are a great option for footings because the deck or structure can be built upon the piers right away, instead of waiting for concrete to dry, and the piers are engineered to hold a lot of weight.
These quality deck footings have many benefits to the contractor as well as the homeowner.
The Benefits of Diamond Piers for Deck Building
1. Fast Installation
Unlike poured concrete deck footings, Diamond Piers are quick and easy to install. There’s no hole digging or waiting for concrete to cure. Removing these two processes is a real labor and time saver. The parts of a Diamond Pier include the concrete head, pins, plugs for the ends of the pins in the ground, caps for the tops of the pins coming out of the concrete head, the driving bit, and the demo/breaker hammer. If an obstruction is encountered in the ground, the pins can be removed, requiring much less effort than starting over by digging a new hole. In general, we have found that decking projects can be completed one to two days faster on average when using Diamond Piers.
2. Sturdy and Resistant to Soil Movement
Concrete deck footings often have trouble when it comes to frost heave. When expansive soils freeze and expand, the ground rises in what’s called frost heave. Often, a concrete pour in the ground will rise with the soil heave, making the deck uneven and potentially structurally unsound. This is especially common if the concrete was not poured deep enough by an inexperienced installer. In locations with high clay content in the soil, frost heave can wreak so much havoc on the concrete footing that the deck has to be completely torn out and redone. Because Diamond Piers do not have concrete in the ground, they stand up better to frost heave. It’s worth it to have sturdy deck footings that will support your structure for a long time.
3. Structurally Rated and Code Compliant
A Diamond Pier supports the same load as a concrete footing. We generally use the 50-inch pin length which has a load capacity of 4,400lbs. Most decks don’t weigh more than 8,000lbs in total. The spread of the pins in a Diamond Pier distributes the load over a greater bearing area than traditional concrete footings. Due to this, uplift and lateral resistance is increased.Diamond Piers are structurally rated and code compliant. They are a quality product you can rely upon.
Proven Product for Sturdy Decks
The quality and reliability of Diamond Piers has been proven over and over. For 25 years, the US Department of the Interior has used Diamond Piers on challenging projects such as boardwalks over wetlands in wildlife refuges. The structural integrity of Diamond Piers makes for a soundly constructed deck, or structure, that is superior to concrete footings.
Integrity Fencing uses proven, high-quality materials for deck building, and Diamond Piers remain our go-to product for footings. We ensure our customers are satisfied with the result for years to come.
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