Remove Wood Deck Stair Landing Support Posts and Concrete Footers

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The 6×6 support posts and concrete footers are removed to complete the old deck stair demolition.

Table of Contents

  1. Planning and Building Wood Deck Stairs with Landing
  2. Tear Down Old Wood Deck Stairs and Landing
  3. Remove Wood Deck Stair Landing Support Posts and Concrete Footers (you are here)
  4. Build Deck Stair Landing: Pour Concrete Footers and Install 6×6 Posts
  5. Deck Stair Landing: Saw Post-to-Beam Support Notches
  6. Deck Stair Landing Beam and Joist Framing
  7. Deck Stair Stringer Hanger Board and Simpson Strong-Tie LSCZ Stringer Connector
  8. Install Wood Deck Stair Stringers and 4×4 Newel Posts
  9. How to Frame a Wood Deck Stair Landing
  10. Build Wood Deck Stairs – Layout Solid and Sawn Stringers
  11. How to Install Deck Stair Stringers and Treads
  12. Build Wood Deck Stairs and Landing – Completed Job Photos

Remove Wood Deck Stair Landing Support Posts and Concrete Footers

The 6×6 landing support posts are set in concrete footers. I wasn’t looking forward to digging out the footers because it can be a major chore based on prior experience requiring a concrete saw and jackhammer. The four posts are on the left and right sides here. The notched post is odd – the home builder put 2×4’s there to have something to nail the old stringers to:

Wood Deck Stair Landing Tear Down - Old 6x6 Landing Posts

Wood Deck Stair Landing Tear Down – Old 6×6 Landing Posts

I shoveled off the landscaping stones to expose the concrete footers:

Old Deck Stair Landing Tear Down - 6x6 Posts and Concrete Footers

Old Deck Stair Landing Tear Down – 6×6 Posts and Concrete Footers

I had no idea how deep the concrete footers were set in the ground. I pushed on the 6×6 post to see if it wiggled and to my surprise I pushed it completely over!

Old Wood Deck Stair Landing Tear Down - 6x6 Posts with Improper Concrete Footings

Old Wood Deck Stair Landing Tear Down – 6×6 Posts with Improper Concrete Footings

Improper Deck Post Footings

The home builder did a really sorry job and only framed a concrete footer with 2×4’s at ground level! The Building Code now requires “Bottom of footing should be at least 12 inches below grade.” and often much deeper if you live in Northern States with cold winters.

Deck Stair 6x6 Post - Improper 4 inch Thick Concrete Footing

Deck Stair 6×6 Post – Improper 4 inch Thick Concrete Footing

The lower right support post broke off because the bottom was severely rotted. This is why the current Building Code (Sheet 8, Figure 12) doesn’t allow deck posts to be set in concrete.

6x6 Deck Stair Support Post Rotted Bottom

6×6 Deck Stair Support Post Rotted Bottom

This footing was also only 4 inches thick and easy to pull out:

Dig Out 6x6 Deck Post Concrete Footer

Dig Out 6×6 Deck Post Concrete Footer

The last 6×6 deck post had an odd concrete footer; it appears the builder dug a post hole in an attempt to better anchor the footing:

Poor Attempt at Concrete Footing for Deck Stair 6x6 Support Post

Poor Attempt at Concrete Footing for Deck Stair 6×6 Support Post

Why the Deck Stairs Sagged

The root cause of the sagging and uneven deck stairs were improper concrete post footing set at ground level well above the frost line. The shallow footers moved over time due to rain, erosion and frost heaving. A chipmunk or mole might have tunneled under the footings undermining it and causing it to settle. This moved the deck stair landing and the stairs along with it.

Next up: Build Deck Stair Landing: Pour Concrete Footers and Install 6×6 Posts

Thanks,

Bob Jackson

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