I am planning to create a deck around 2 trees. Because of a irregular shape of the deck, it's hard to make the footing spacing uniform. I plan to have them 53" apart but some area will have footings much closer like 20-30" apart due to the trees. I am planning to use 4x4 posts, 4x8 beams and 2x8 joists for this deck.

Is it OK to do it like that? I mean as long as it won't go further than 6' apart at any two footings, it should be OK right?

  • Hard for anyone to have an opinion on this without knowing how the deck is to be built. What framing are you using for the structure of the deck? May 14, 2016 at 22:42
  • I added more information above.
    – HP.
    May 14, 2016 at 23:09

2 Answers 2


here in ontario, you are not permitted to use 4x4 posts on a deck, and nor should you. use 6x6 and make sure they sit on metal brackets to connect them to the concrete posts.

bearing in mind everything about structural design is based on local conditions and materials used, i would offer this...

4x8 beams at max 5 ft centers would be plenty strong here in ontario where we have 50psf snow load. 2x8 joists would also be strong enough as long as your beams are no more than 8 ft apart.

  • What if I have footing spacing like: 5', 3', 3', 5' pattern? Is that OK? I mean the 3', 3' in the middle is due to the tree.
    – HP.
    May 15, 2016 at 18:42
  • 1
    makes no difference if you go in regular or random pier spacing, you just have to make sure you dont exceed the maximum. on a 4x8 beam with 2x8 joists (16in on center), you cant make your beam supports any further apart than 8ft (in an area with a 50lb per square foot snow load) May 15, 2016 at 18:55
  • 2
    Your comment above addresses the question, but your answer does not. Please incorporate the comment into the question to improve its value.
    – isherwood
    May 15, 2016 at 19:09

Yes, it's common to have deck posts at irregular intervals for various reasons--basement windows and doors, landscape features, sidewalks, etc. The important consideration is that each span is designed properly for load. It may be the case that you have beams of differing size.

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