After locating all the footings, I generally dig the holes by hand.
After locating all the footings, I generally dig the holes by hand.

Every porch or deck I build starts with level footings and solid, plumb concrete piers - insurance that my projects will stand for many years to come. I use 12-inch-diameter cardboard tube forms (usually Sonotubes), rebar, and a sack concrete mix. Here's my process.

After locating all the footings, I generally dig the holes by hand. If there are more than six, I'll consider hiring an excavator. Even though I always call Dig Safe ahead of time, there's still the chance I could run into an obstruction, and digging with a shovel gives me more control if I do. As I dig, I keep all the dirt and rocks in separate...

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