FAQs: Lumber and Footings


Can I use sono-tubes for my concrete footings?

Yes. Sono-tubes which are 18 inches in diameter or greater can be used as a pre-fabricated concrete form for your footings. A 12 inch sono-tube shall not be used for the footing unless professionally designed.


Can I use 4x4 posts to support my deck?

Maybe. If you are using the Fairfax County Typical Deck Details, you are required to use 6x6 posts. If your deck is custom designed and not too high above the ground, then you may be able to use 4x4 posts. However, the connection of the beam to the 4x4 may prove to be trickier. Therefore, Fairfax County recommends 6x6 posts for all conditions.


Can I use foreign lumber in my deck?

Yes, but only as decking material. Foreign lumber must also meet other Fairfax County requirements to ensure suitability with construction. Foreign lumber is considered any lumber not native to North America. The most common foreign lumber is ipe (eepay).


More Questions?

Please contact Building Plan Review via e-mail or telephone at 703-222-0114, TTY 711. You may also consult the Decks publication or the Fairfax County Typical Deck Details.


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