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

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This is identified by the frost heat in your area and the map listed below should offer you a general idea of how deep you need to go.

What is a Frost Line

The frost line is the depth in ~ which the ground freezes. It’s crucial to recognize the frost heat depth for building and construction purposes. Water tube should always be collection below a frost line to avoid them from freezing in the winter.


It’s also important the the footings for a building or a deck well below the frost line so the write-ups don’t change as the soil freezes and thaws. Examine your local structure codes to determine the proper depth past a frost heat a footing should sit.

When come Build

If you space in a cold zone and aren’t in a rush to build, it’s finest to wait till spring to begin digging. The ground will certainly be thawed by then making it much easier to destruction to the suitable depth.


Mark a stick at the appropriate depth and keep the within easy reach the your building project so you deserve to take continuous measurements.

Frost heat Map

This frost heat map offers a basic idea of wherein the frost line is in your area. If friend live top top the edge of the line, it’s finest to go v the references of the cooler side come avoid any type of issues.


This map is indigenous the nationwide Snow and also Ice Data center and shows the frost line map across the united States. Note exactly how it moves down from 72-inch depth come a 6-inch depth.

The maximum frost line depth is 100-inches as seen near the reminder of Minnesota, north Dakota, and Alaska, every the method to zero customs in Florida, southern Arizona, and southern California.


Frost line by Zip Code

If the map isn’t accurate sufficient for you. Check your frost heat by zip code or attend to using this map native the nationwide Weather Service.

As we pointed out before, make sure you examine with your local building codes prior to you begin digging.


Tips for Digging

Anytime you are digging, it’s finest to know the frost line together you will certainly know just how deep the water pipes are so you can avoid them.

Here in Los Angeles whereby the soil doesn’t freeze, the irrigation and sprinkler pipes are not buried very deep, for this reason you must be extra cautious when digging about them.


A shovel and post feet digger room all that is essential to destruction a deep hole, but if you’ve got huge rocks or tough pack in her area then a long pry bar is additionally helpful.

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An auger is the fastest method to dig holes and also can save you a many time and money also with the cost of renting. A handheld auger is usually the best option together they are cheaper come rent and also easier to work with and also maneuver. Because that a lengthy fence heat an auger in ~ the finish of a bobcat or PTO tractor is a good investment together it will dig the feet fast and also accurately.