Deck Blocks for Quick Easy Installation
Deck blocks are not a new concept, they’ve been used for decades for quick fixes, temporary piers, and for providing a foundation for floating decks or structures that are not fixed to another building with a foundation. Historically these blocks are formed with concrete or cement. They are poured with a cutout to receive 2x or 4x material for joists or posts. Found at most home improvement or building materials retailers, they are inexpensive and functional.
Installing deck blocks solves quite a few issues for builders framing structures that are non conforming, like dog houses, sheds, and floating decks that may be too close to the ground to build a traditional frame. Also, not all building situations require piers, and need the added stability provided by pouring or burying piers below frost lines.
For most freestanding outdoor projects like platforms or ground level or just-above-ground level decks and projects up to 30” high, deck blocks are a no brainer. And for contractors who are temp framing decks while poured piers are curing, these are great to use as bases for members holding up frames before permanent posts are installed.
CAMO’s Solution To Problems You Didn’t Know You Had
There’s a new thing on the block – Enter the CAMO BLOCK. CAMO has created a new deck block that is more useful than concrete blocks and the benefits clearly put this product in a class of it’s own. Here are some details that will help you understand what we mean.
Do Yourself A Favor
- Lightweight and Stackable. The CAMO Block is just over 2 pounds per block – that’s 18x lighter than the comparable concrete block that will do the same thing. These are also stackable, so if you need a couple dozen of these blocks for a ground level application, we can ship them right to your door, in a manageable size box.
- Easy To Install. All that needs to be done for site prep is to make sure the placement location is level. There is no need to remove grass or vegetation, or pack soil or gravel. The webbed design spreads loads throughout the base to make it stable and reliable. Did we mention the product is lightweight so it’s easy to move if your plans change?
- Intuitive Design. If you are looking for a block that will support your unique or challenging frame or landscape layout, the CAMO Block is ready to use. Safe and supportive for all 2×4, 2×6, and 2×8 joists, they will even hold 2” metal joists. For vertical applications, these blocks are designed to receive 4×4 and 6×6 treated posts. These blocks are precision-molded to fit all standard (nominal) lumber specifications.
- Heavy Duty, Sustainable. These new blocks from CAMO are made from recycled poly materials that make them incredibly strong, resistant to nearly all weather conditions, and can support nearly two tons of downward pressure (1800 lbs) per block. The CAMO Block is made from Polyolefin, which will not crack, chip, or break even in cold weather – and is UV-protected so there is no fading.
So you might be wondering why we think these features are such a big deal if you’ve never installed deck blocks before. Well, here are some points to consider, and why you should never use a concrete block again.
Concrete Blocks – The Drawbacks – The Bad & The Ugly
Concrete blocks for all their useful properties, are not the best choice when it comes to creating a solid foundation for your outdoor project, and here’s a few reasons why.
- They are Heavy. These blocks that cost about ten bucks at your local home improvement store are 40 pounds. Moving these from the store into your vehicle, and from your vehicle to the construction site can require a lot of energy. Even with gloves these concrete blocks can put a strain on your body – and don’t drop them on your toes!
- Placement Requires Prep. In most situations, the ground must be leveled, dirt and gravel packed down in order to provide a stable foundation for install. There are challenges with this also – plans change! There is a labor intensive prep that goes into placing these blocks, so if blocks have to be moved or adjusted, another site must be dug and or tamped.
- Concrete is Unsightly. The dull gray color of concrete is not generally a finish that looks great at the end of your project. Often concrete will crack or chip in transit or during install when shovels hammers are present. Although functional, cement blocks do not turn heads for the right reason if visible.
- Drainage & The Elements. Concrete lasts forever right? Well, not always. Concrete blocks do not provide consistent drainage for areas that receive moisture. If concrete blocks are installed in areas with significant precipitation, and are prone to temperatures below freezing, water seepage can cause concrete to crack and crumble over time .This can weaken the long term durability you may be counting on for your structure.
- Sizing & Fit. Sure, there are a few instances where concrete blocks work just right for the use at hand, but they are limited in supporting structures with unique and complex frame situations. These are typically only suited to fit 2x lumber horizontally as a joist, or treated 4×4 lumber for a post.
Brass Tacs – CAMO Block Is In The Budget
So you might be wondering, “What’s the catch?” We don’t really think there is one. This product is durable, sustainable, AND affordable. In today’s economy, we all want to find ways to do our projects in the best way possible without breaking the bank – and in this case, you’ll find that the CAMO Block is priced in-line with their concrete counterparts.
The CAMO Block is simply one of the best products available for the money, and can suit up for nearly any freestanding outdoor structure build, and stand the test of pressure and time.
For more information on how to install, and specs related to limits – visit our Resource Center to learn more.