Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>How to raise deck to make level???
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NJHandyman11
How to raise deck to make level???

I hired a person to build me a deck last year. He finished the deck but it is 6 inches lower at one side. I tried to get the guy back to fix it, but never was able to reach him. I am looking to find a good way to put new 6x6 posts so I could raise the side of the deck that is not level. What is the easiest and safest way to accomplish this task? Please help!

A. Spruce
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

You should be able to physically lift the deck with a fulcrum and lever or a hydraulic bottle or car jack. You would need to be able to get to each support post and disconnect the deck from the post and pier.

I personally would either use a builders level or a string line set to the proper height as a guide to know how high to raise the deck at each support location.

The question is, is the deck attached to the house at an angle or is the low end of the deck is "free". If it's attached to the house, you've got your work cut out for you to detach and reattach the deck in a manner that isn't going to cause water or rot issues with the house. If it's the free end, you've dodged a huge bullet and can just lift the deck into place and resupport it.

NJHandyman11
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

Thats great... thanks for the advice. It is the free side of the deck and I already figured out how much to raise the deck using a water line. Do I need to purchase new "brackets", lack of a better term, for the footings as well? Or could I just reuse the ones that are already there from the prior posts?

A. Spruce
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

The two most common methods of anchoring is to wet set a post base into a formed concrete footing or to wet set a pier with a wood top plate in concrete. There is no reason that either of these methods cannot be reused, simply remove the fasteners holding the deck to the post and the post to the pier block or anchor bracket. Lift the deck, install new post and secure it in place.

dj1
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

Just a word of caution:

While the deck is safely jacked on one end, don't walk on it. All work must be done from the outside of the deck.

Also, how good are you piers, why is one side sagging so much? you must fix any problem before you continue, so this doesn't happen again.

jkirk
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

dj brings up a good point, if the pier isnt sitting on solid ground it can continue to settle which means you will continually be jacking the deck to keep it level..

mind you there are now post brackets that allow for some settling, it acts like a leveller leg for staging, you twist it to create level

keith3267
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

One more thing, if the deck boards run perpendicular to the house, you don't want to be completely level. You want rain water to flow away from the house so you will need the far side to be slightly lower.

NJHandyman11
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

Thanks all for the advice. The footings were inspected before and after they were poured. I do not think the footings settled... i jut know the guy did a terrible job with the deck. This thread really helps me out. Thanks again for all the help. Much appreciated.

jkirk
Re: How to raise deck to make level???

if the deck boards are slightly gapped and the ledger board is properly flashed, board direction shouldnt matter having the deck level

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