I am pouring concrete for deck footings. I need an 18in diameter footing to carry the weight, and I will also use a 8 in diameter pier to bring it to an inch above ground. The footing must be 30 in below ground and 8 in thick. I am going to use a soil form for the footing (the hole I dig) and a sono tube for the pier.

Should I pour the footing and the concrete in one pour? I worry that the concrete in the sonotube will sink down and fill the 18 in hole while it sets, or is concrete thick enough to not worry about this? Or should I pour the footing, and then once set pour the pier. If I go this route I'll set one L shaped rebar in the footing to give support to the pier. Will an overnight set be enough?

If it matters I'll be mixing the concrete myself in an electric mixer.

2 Answers 2


Without an integrated spread footing form (Like Sonotube tube base or Bigfoot), I would split the pours.

Pour footing: Place the rebar (A pair of L bars spaced at 7 inches apart will center tube). On the next day or after firm to firm pressure (>3hrs), place tube, back-fill carefully (to keep tube centered), tamp soil.

Pour pier: Complete the pour, add post connectors while wet or use epoxy anchoring after cure.

To be thorough, I should mention Helical Piles. Guaranteed weight bearing (they keep driving them until they reach the actual PSF rating desired).

  • I agree... split the pours. Adjacent concrete poured within a period (3 days?) will bond into a contigous mass.
    – John
    Jun 20, 2013 at 12:36
  • Regarding John's comment, is it good practice to pour the piers within 3 days? Does "contiguous" in this context mean fused together?
    – Corey Alix
    Jul 2, 2018 at 18:13
  • Corey. the key part of my answer is the exposed rebar that keys and keeps the column centered over the bearing "foot". As such, more than several days could pass and you will still get an integrated system..
    – HerrBag
    Jul 3, 2018 at 22:18

I am a site coordinator for a tower construction company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am currently working on a project where we pour pad and pier together (because it is fairly easy and is required by our engineering department). If you get your concrete appropriately thick (3 slump?), it should stack up into your Sonotube pier without blowing out.

You still want your rebar or reinforcement mesh to extend to within a few inches of the top and bottom. You should also vibrate and rod the concrete through the Sonotube and into the footing (but try not to rod all the way through to the ground).

If you strip the Sonotube when the concrete is still green (after a couple of hours), you can rub it to a nice finish with a block of wood, a stone float or even your hand. Rubbed concrete looks professional and is an easy application, if timed appropriately.

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