I'm building a free-standing deck that is at ground level on one side, and the ground slopes away to about 60cm on the other. My question is, what's the best approach for the bearers at the point where it will be at ground level (edit: seems like 'bearer' is a local term, I mean the horizontal support that the joists go on, which seems to be commonly known as a beam).

I'm planning on making concrete pads, but how should I attach them? None of the hardware for posts, like the metal post supports I've seen are the right dimension for bearers.

2 Answers 2


If possible, I'd put posts at the ground level side, even if you have to dig out a little. Even if it's just a few inches below the beam, it's easier for the very reason you mention. It will keep the beam drier. If the post ever rots, it's a lot easier to replace the post than the beam. You may be able to make the posts integral with rail posts, too.

  • Thsnks. Damp and rot is the main reason I was concerned about putting the beam straight on the concrete.
    – stib
    Dec 6, 2015 at 23:45

By 'bearers' you mean beams or posts? To attach vertical posts to the concrete footings the most used connector is this:4x4 post base Although there are many more selections depending on your specifications. To connect the post to the horizontal beam you may want to use this:4x post cap If your deck is designed that it won't need posts than plan on having the beam sit directly on the concrete footings and orient the metal anchor so it will accept the beam. I believe the IRC now frowns upon 4 x 4 vertical posts to be used as supports. 4 x 6 posts are now Code approved. Any beams attached to a post now has to be fully seated on it if no connectors are used ( you can't bolt it to the side of the post face). Remember 48" post hole depth if your climate is freeze prone. EDIT: on the ground side rather than use vertical posts, bring the concrete footings high enough so that the beam , when in final position, will be at the same level as the other. you may need to excavate so the footing is above grade.

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