HomeDecksDeck Installation

Central MA Deck Installation Better
Than “Built To Code”

We Don’t Just Craft “Beautiful” Decks… We Craft “Beautiful, Mega-Stout, Built-Like-A-Tank” Decks.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 672 people in the U.S. are injured due to deck failure per year.

Six hundred and seventy-two!

Per year!

It’s gotten so bad that Massachusetts has created MUCH stricter deck-building codes in recent years. As a result, many inexperienced and low-skilled deck builders have their initial plans rejected by the local planning commission. Particularly unethical deck builders don’t submit their plans at all!

That’s. Not. Us.

Our expert deck designers, engineers, and craftsmen can build decks “to code” in their sleep. They’ve got decades of experience and single-minded determination to do things RIGHT.

But why stop at “to code”? Even though its legal standard, it’s still the bare-minimum requirement for quality… and “bare minimum” isn’t in our vocabulary.

We’re the rare deck contractor that goes lightyears beyond what’s required by Massachusetts building laws. Our mission isn’t just to build you a beautiful deck—it’s to build you a beautiful deck that retains rock-solid structural integrity FOR LIFE.

Here are a few ways we do it…

Superior Footings
Deck Helical Metal Pile - Techno Post - Deck Installation Central MA

Footings are your deck’s “foundation.” They’re typically made by digging holes in the ground, filling those holes with concrete, and then inserting the deck posts into the concrete. Just like your home will sink due to a faulty foundation, your deck will sink without proper footings.

There are three common problems we see in the footings of decks we tear down: they’re too shallow, too small, or not properly secured to the posts. Let’s look at how our installation avoids these problems…

Footing Depth

Solid State - Deck Installation - Techno-post

Our severe New England winters allow frost to reach DEEP into the ground. Massachusetts building code for deck footing is a minimum of four feet, which is below the frost line. Anything shallower, and your soil’s freeze-thaw cycle can cause your deck to shift.

Literally half the decks we tear down have footing that does not go deep enough. The contractor didn’t take the time to dig the hole to a four-foot depth, which puts your deck at the mercy of your soil’s freeze-thaw cycle.

To eliminate this problem for good, we prefer helical metal piles (a.k.a. techno-posts) to traditional concrete footings.

These are essentially giant screws we drill into the ground using high-tech machinery. They’re rated by depth and tension to hold the appropriate weight load and go as deep as need be. As such, they provide MUCH better stability than traditional concrete.

We occasionally do have to use traditional concrete footings. In these instances, we always go to the appropriate four-foot depth. ALWAYS.

Footing Size

Another common issue we see with concrete footing: It’s too small. Most of the decks we tear down have concrete footings that are 8” to 10” in diameter. Because we get so much snow in New England, that’s typically not large enough to hold up over time. As a result, your deck can actually sink!

In the instances where we use concrete footings, we build them to a MINIMUM of 12” in diameter. This provides extra stability and ensures your deck remains firmly fixed in place… no matter how much snow Mother Nature dumps on it.

Footing Attachment

It’s not enough to simply stick the deck posts into concrete footings. Footings should have J-bolts poured into them so the post base can be securely attached. Otherwise, you get a problem we see all the time: Posts that shift or actually lift off the footings.

It goes without saying that we secure posts into concrete footings with proper J-bolts. But the beauty of our helical metal piles is that they have a built-in post base. This creates a substantially stronger “foundation” for your deck and ensures your deck remains rigidly rooted in place for GOOD.

Deck Posts: Bigger Does Equal Better
Deck Post - Solid State Construction - Central MA

Between the deck frame and footings are posts. These are the “legs” of your deck, and they transfer the weight of your deck to the footings.

Unfortunately, posts are one of the things deck builders mess up most. Building codes (and common building sense) dictate that posts be a minimum of 4”x4” bearing. That’s well and good, but we see two common problems that occur when using these posts:

  1. In a misguided effort to get good lateral attachment, many contractors notch 2” on the top of 4”x4” beams to accept the beam or rim joist. A notched post has the structural integrity of its remaining piece, so a 2” notch essentially creates a much weaker 2”x4” post. Not good!
  2. The contractor uses full 4”x4” posts but doesn’t laterally connect them to the beam. Over time, this can cause the beam to shift from the posts… and even result in collapse.

We resolve the first issue by utilizing 6”x6” ground-contact-rated posts that are pressure treated. Using 6”x6” posts allows us to notch the top to accept the deck beam and still retain an above-code bearing of 4”x6”.

To eliminate the second issue, we secure the posts to the beams using a minimum of two heavy-duty galvanized bolts per post. This creates stout lateral attachment to help ensure your deck doesn’t budge an inch, no matter how harsh the conditions.

Central MA’s Only AZEK Gold Contractor
Timbertech AZEK Composite Decking - Gold Contractor

In addition to wood decks, we install Timbertech® AZEK composite decks—and we do it so well that we’re Central MA’s only AZEK Gold Contractor.

It’s not as if we’re one of the few contractors to install AZEK decking in the area; AZEK is actually the most popular composite decking in the country. It simply comes down to us being the area’s only deck builder with the skill and inclination to adhere to AZEK’s rigid Gold Contractor installation and product specifications.

Not only does this ensure you the most premium-quality materials for your deck, but it also provides you with AZEK’s strongest warranties… warranties literally no other deck contractor in Central MA can provide.

Bottom Line: We Go Beyond Building “To Code”
Deck Installation - Central MA - Solid State Construction

The practices listed above are just a snapshot of how we’ll build your deck better than “to code.” We could go on and on about our different above-and-building deck-building practices, but it would take you a long, long, loonnggg time to read through them all.

So if you’d like more details about how we can build you the strongest deck in the Boston area, contact us today for an in-home consultation. We would love the chance to discuss your deck project in person.

Other Links You’ll Find Useful:

Book A Free Consultation

We have expert Project Consultants on standby waiting to help you. Contact us today to schedule a free, zero-obligation consultation. We would be honored to hear from you.