I have an enclosed deck that is basically worthless. It has a metal roof and bakes in the summer (and spring and fall for that matter) making it way too hot to use, and leaks in the winter (and retains no heat). I'd much rather convert it into an open deck. There are a few obstacles I have to get through first.

Edited to include only The first question here:

1 - While the pier is anchored in concrete, that concrete is below the level of the dirt. rotting wood pier

In this images the dirt around the pier is on top of concrete, however you can see the wet area where the dirt was and the the wood is beginning to rot. Will I need to replace this pier (and thus, all the rest) or can I pour concrete around it in a sonotube?

  • 1
    I think there's way too much happening here for a simple answer. Can you break it up into separate pieces? For instance, one question could deal with your stairs situation, another with the deck supports, yet another with finishing, and so on.
    – alt
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 23:47
  • You have subfloor glued to the joists of that deck and a lot of windows. If the posts are bad, there is essentially nothing but a couple hundred dollars worth of joists that you are salvaging. There is a lot of value in what you currently have (consider the loss of square footage on resale value). Have you definitely decided against repairing the roof and insulating?
    – Paul
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 0:32
  • @alt I can certainly do that, if it would be better. Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 1:00
  • @Paul I would much rather have an ourdoor deck, yes. The windows are terrible, the subfloor is water damaged, as are the walls, and the roof is just corrugated metal. Insulating to keep it would mean rebuilding. On top of that, it blocks sunlight to the rooms on the back of our house making us use lights to see well at midday despite having windows. Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 1:03
  • I would suggest editing this question to address question #1 only. Copy and paste the others as separate questions
    – Paul
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


You'll need an engineer to tell you if those posts have enough good material remaining. But one thing you can do is figure out if your post sizes and spacing is over-built for your local codes. You'll have to find the codes for your area.

Here is an example of deck specifications.

If they are OK, you'll want to re-grade and treat them to prevent more rot.

If they are not OK or you just want them to look better, you can cut off the bad portion and pour new (higher) footings. (Make sure the footing depth and diameter and height above grade meet local code) Make sure you cast a metal post base in the footing. Don't cast the wooden post in the footing.

  • I definitely need to raise the level of the footing (pour new) so if I shouldn't cast the post in the new footing, I'll go ahead and cut it. Thanks. Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 16:54

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