If you’re walk to develop your very own deck among the first considerations ~ you’ve laid out your short articles is exactly how deep her footings should be set.

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This is determined by the frost line in your area and the map listed below should give you a basic idea of just how deep you have to go.


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What is a Frost Line

The frost line is the depth at which the soil freezes. It’s vital to understand the frost line depth for building purposes. Water pipe should always be collection below a frost heat to protect against them from freeze in the winter.

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It’s additionally important the the footings because that a structure or a deck well below the frost heat so the short articles don’t shift as the ground freezes and also thaws. Check your local building codes to determine the appropriate depth previous a frost line a footing have to sit.

When come Build

If you space in a cold zone and aren’t in a sirloin to build, it’s ideal to wait until spring to start digging. The ground will certainly be s by then making it easier to destruction to the ideal depth.


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Mark a stick at the ideal depth and keep it within easy reach the your building and construction project therefore you have the right to take consistent measurements.

Frost line Map

This frost line map gives a basic idea of wherein the frost line is in your area. If girlfriend live top top the leaf of the line, it’s ideal to go with the recommendations of the chillier side come avoid any issues.

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This map is native the national Snow and Ice Data center and shows the frost heat 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 together seen close to the guideline of Minnesota, north Dakota, and also Alaska, all the method to zero customs in Florida, southern Arizona, and southern California.

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Frost heat by Zip Code

If the map isn’t accurate enough for you. Inspect your frost heat by zip password or resolve using this map from the nationwide Weather Service.

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

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Tips for Digging

Anytime you space digging, it’s ideal to recognize the frost line together you will know how deep the water pipes space so you deserve to avoid them.

Here in Los Angeles wherein the floor doesn’t freeze, the irrigation and also sprinkler pipes are not buried really deep, therefore you must be extra mindful when digging roughly them.

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A shovel and also post hole digger space all that is needed to dig a deep hole, yet if you’ve got big rocks or hard pack in your area climate a lengthy pry bar is also helpful.

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An auger is the fastest way to destruction holes and can save you a the majority of time and also money even with the cost of renting. A handheld auger is commonly the finest option as they room cheaper to rent and easier to job-related with and maneuver. Because that a lengthy fence heat an auger in ~ the finish of a bobcat or PTO tractor is a good investment as it will certainly dig the feet fast and also accurately.