How to Insert J-Bolts into Concrete for Deck Footers

          Installing a J-Bolt or anchor bolt correctly is the key to setting up a stable post for your deck. Read the easy instructions.

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  • There are so many kinds of anchor bolts to choose from and it may depend on factors such as the depth of your footings to the size of your posts. Shown are some examples. If you don't know what to get, ask the opinion from at least hardware store associates or deck professionals.

  • 2

    Position your stringer or markers to accurately locate where the bolt should be inserted. It may not end up exactly at the center of the top of the footer. When the cement dries, you may only have about of inch to play with if you are off.

  • 3

    While the concrete is wet, insert the bolt at an angle. Wiggle the bolt to remove air gaps. The J bolt should stick out one inch above the concrete (give or take 1/4 inch).

  • 4
    Courtesy of Black and Decker,

    Position the anchor bolt so that it is at the location where the post will be. Use a level to make sure the bolt is exactly straight and ensure that it is still an inch out. Also make sure that the threads are clean of cement.

  • 5
    Lining up the bolts
    Lining up the bolts

    After you install all the bolts, use the stringers to make sure that all the bolts line up there you want them to line up. Shown is an example of using a string to line up the bolts as viewed from above.

  • 6

    Check the bolts every 15 minutes for the first hour to ensure that the bolts don't move. You only have one chance to get it right. Do not put the washer and nut on yet.

  • 7

    After the cement is dry, double check to make sure the bolts line up as planned. Now you are ready for the next big step: Installing or adding the deck posts.

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