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How to Build an Octagonal Deck
Step 2: Place the two corner Dek-Block® piers
Begin by positioning two corner Dek-Block® piers directly on the soil. If the ground is sloped, remove only the top soil directly under the block so that the block sits level. Be sure to verify that the distance between the blocks is accurate, by referencing the dimensions on the plan. The outside edge of the finished deck will extend out past the center of the Dek-Block® piers by 13 1/2" on both sides.
There is no such thing as a perfectly level yard. I get a lot of calls and e-mails from people who try not to use 4x4 posts. The best tip I can give anyone building a deck is to use 4x4 posts, even if you only have a very slight slope of the yard. Leveling every block to each other is very difficult and time consuming. If you need a 2-1/4" 4x4 post, cut a 2-1/4" 4x4 post. It takes about 90 seconds to measure and cut a 4x4 post, and the post only weighs a few pounds. Moving a block up or down to an exact measurement takes 4 to 10 minutes per block. Remember, these are 42 lbs. blocks you're working with. Save your back for carrying the cooler onto the deck when you're done.
Don't spend too much time leveling the Dek-Block® piers. The block does not need to be perfect. The block can be leveled with only your eye. Position the block so that it looks level. If you place a level in the block, you're spending too much time on it. Any slight difference will be made up with the 4"x4" post. You also want to make sure the Dek-Block® piers are sitting FLAT. You don't want any rocking of the piers on the ground.