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  1. #1
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    The deck build thread

    I'm building a deck on my house. This isn't the first deck I have built, but I have never had to dig footers to 42" (frost line) in rocky soil. I need 10 holes with an 18" base dug. In 2 hours, I dug 2 to complete depth, and with 2 more, I hit limestone around 22" down. By my count, I'm hitting 50% and it isn't looking good for finishing this. I'm digging with manual post hole diggers and I'm starting to think I've lost my mind. Is there anybody out there that has succeeded in such a dig that is willing to share some inspirational words? Or should I just go and rent a 2 person auger or a Bobcat with a auger mounted?
    Last edited by heyyall; 05-13-2012 at 08:55 PM. Reason: the holes are dug, the deck is being built

  2. #2
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    You need a digging bar, and look at it like good excercise.

  3. #3
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    I've dug holes using the standard post hole digger when putting up a fence. The next day you won't be able to raise your arms to wash your hair.

    Easiest thing I could suggest is buy a lot of beer (and a few post hole diggers) and invite a few friends over.

  4. #4
    gran jefe
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    if the stone is solid, can you just pour concrete on top of it?

    and what is a frost line?

  5. #5
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    Get a 2 person auger, buy a friend some beer, and dig away.
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  6. #6
    the half breed devil
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    sounds like way more work than i want to do for free...

  7. #7
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    This is how I dig post holes when I don't have an apprentice handy...
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8AHzlAlrlMY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  8. #8
    the half breed devil
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    explosives maybe?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Or should I just go and rent a 2 person auger or a Bobcat with a auger mounted?
    This unless you like the exercise and frustration. The cost and time it would take you to dig the holes by hand has to be significantly more than the time and rental for the Bobcat or 2-person auger.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  10. #10
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    The exercise sounded fine. I am tired of the frustration, so I have rental shop plans for the weekend. My wife is blogging the fun. I think she is having too much fun.
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  11. #11
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    Aren't you done yet?
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    The exercise sounded fine. I am tired of the frustration, so I have rental shop plans for the weekend. My wife is blogging the fun. I think she is having too much fun.
    Is she taking pictures? Link, please...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowho View Post
    You need a digging bar, and look at it like good excercise.
    Word. Except the 'good' excercise part (it is excercise - I just always feel like I'm tearing up my elbows and shoulders). Pay yourself per hole. Maybe half what you'd pay someone else per hour (i.e. get a quote). Then you save money and get to buy shiny new bits for your bike.

  14. #14
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    Here is the blog for those interested.

    http://www.lifewithmy4boys.com/
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    explosives maybe?
    that's what I was thinking. old dynamite is probably easy to come by.

  16. #16
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    I see you found an apprentice She should be done in no time!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Digging Holes -- need inspiration-deck3.jpg  

    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  17. #17
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    "She" is Luke, one of the four boys
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    that's what I was thinking. old dynamite is probably easy to come by.
    Funny thing is that the permit department really only asked two questions. One was if I planned on using explosives. The relevance of the question escaped me at the time and I sadly said no.
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  19. #19
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    I've been contemplating this same thing for my upcoming fence install. More holes, less depth, and in solid clay....2 person auger? If I were you I'd be paying someone I think.

    I also like the explosives option.

  20. #20
    El Gato Malo
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Funny thing is that the permit department really only asked two questions. One was if I planned on using explosives. The relevance of the question escaped me at the time and I sadly said no.
    Must be a common thing. I called Miss Utility to have them come and stake out an underground electrical line and one of the questions the operator asked was if I had any plans on using explosives.

  21. #21
    the half breed devil
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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/V9HJpNN-YJ4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail6 View Post
    Must be a common thing. I called Miss Utility to have them come and stake out an underground electrical line and one of the questions the operator asked was if I had any plans on using explosives.
    Next time reply with "I didn't know that was an option....."
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    "She" is Luke, one of the four boys
    Oops. sorry.

    Damn hippies.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  24. #24
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    Deck building update. Holes are finally finished and the progress is now above grade. There is still a lot more fun to be had if someone is looking for something to do.





  25. #25
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    I don't have my level handy, and I'm just an electrician, but those posts don't look plumb. Must be a cross wind on the interwebs...
    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Deck building update. Holes are finally finished and the progress is now above grade. There is still a lot more fun to be had if someone is looking for something to do.

    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  26. #26
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    The deck is about to get the best of me, but the work is slowly starting to pay off. My boys are asking the question--why didn't we just pay someone to build it? I'm starting to think they are teaching me a lesson

    This is the progress as of yesterday after 12 hours of work. My wife hasn't blogged today's progress (yes, she was out there on Mother's day), so I don't have today's pictures.

    Today we put up the railing. Hopefully by next weekend, this saga will be over.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Digging Holes -- need inspiration-deckmay111.jpg  

    Digging Holes -- need inspiration-deckmay12th14.jpg  


  27. #27
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    Looks good from here with the progress. Your neighbors will be jealous.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  28. #28
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    Nice work.

  29. #29
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    Put a fork in it--it is done!

    7 weeks and 2 days. What was I thinking.

    For those interested, here is a photo journal of the event.

    life with my 4 boys: 7 weeks 2 days

  30. #30
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    Great job, just in time for bbq season.

  31. #31
    gran jefe
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    wow. that is a nice-looking deck!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikane View Post
    Great job, just in time for bbq season.
    ^^^
    This.

  33. #33
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    heyyall,

    What kind of wood are you using for the decking?

    Doesn't look like redwood and is very knot free....

    Iím asking because my 23-year-old redwood deck is shot. Redwood is all white bark stuff anymore and the only real wood alternative here is Doug Fir.

  34. #34
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    It's not done 'til someone either rides a bike down the stairs or hucks off the deck!!

    Looks nice!
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    heyyall,

    What kind of wood are you using for the decking?

    Doesn't look like redwood and is very knot free....

    I’m asking because my 23-year-old redwood deck is shot. Redwood is all white bark stuff anymore and the only real wood alternative here is Doug Fir.
    It is called Cedartone pressure treated pine. It comes from Menards. I'm impressed with the quality and color. I'm not sure what it will look like with some age, but at least it doesn't have the green color of regular pressure treated pine.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered View Post
    It's not done 'til someone either rides a bike down the stairs or hucks off the deck!!

    Looks nice!
    My 3 year old was looking to ride the razor scooter down the stairs, so it may be officially done the next time I turn my back.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    ...For those interested, here is a photo journal of the event....
    I like how wifey says, "Let's recap this joint construction project between me and Rickey. I'm not sure he wants to do another project with me "

    But I don't see a single picture of her swing a hammer or digging a post hole...Perhaps it's the "royal we"

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter View Post
    I like how wifey says, "Let's recap this joint construction project between me and Rickey. I'm not sure he wants to do another project with me "

    But I don't see a single picture of her swing a hammer or digging a post hole...Perhaps it's the "royal we"
    The most important thing to complete a project is to have the right foreman. She delegated the appropriate tasks and while the job may have taken longer than planned, I bet it was under budget She didn't need to swing a hammer, she used "other means" to motivate the workers
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  39. #39
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    I'll give her credit, she helped quite a bit. She did dig on holes, ran a hammer drill for hours, helped hang spindles, etc. She didn't always read my mind and working without blue prints didn't help, but she enjoyed the project. We're all glad it is done, though.

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