Simpson Post Brackets, Bases, & Caps Guide

Simpson Post Brackets, Bases, & Caps Guide

The Purpose of Post Brackets

Post bracket connectors are a broad term for different caps and bases, are essential components in construction projects that involve wooden structures such as decks, porches, and fences. Their primary role is to provide longevity and durability of the construction.

  • Enhancing Structural Integrity: Post caps and bases play a pivotal role in reinforcing the strength and stability of connections between posts and beams in wooden structures. They provide essential support against shear load and tension, which are critical in maintaining the structural integrity of constructions such as decks, fences, and pergolas.
  • Prevent Moisture Damage & Decay: Post caps and bases provide a critical shield for the tops and bottoms of posts, areas most susceptible to water penetration. By keeping these points dry, they help prevent rot and mold growth, which can significantly weaken wood over time.

Types of Post Brackets

When talking about post brackets, there's generally two types: bases and caps. As the names suggest, bases secure posts & columns to the ground or other structures - or at the 'base', while caps are attached to the tops of posts or columns - to 'cap' them. Below, we dive deeper into each type of base and cap, following the outline below:

  • Bases
    • Post Bases
      • Retrofit Post Bases
      • Cast-in Place Post Bases
      • Fence Post Bases
      • Decorative Post Bases
    • Column Bases
      • Standoff Column Bases
      • Non-standoff Column Bases
  • Caps
    • Post Caps
      • One-piece Post Caps
      • Two-piece Post Caps
    • Column Caps
      • Bolted Column Caps
      • SDS Screw Column Caps
      • Lally/Steel Column Caps

Post Bases & Column Bases

Bases are foundational components that secure posts and columns to the ground or other structures, offering stability and support. While both post bases and column bases are designed to connect vertical elements to a foundation while preventing moisture damage, post bases are generally used for lighter, smaller posts, and column bases are suited for larger, heavier columns that support more significant structures.

What are Post Bases?

Designed to anchor posts securely to the ground or a concrete base, these tools are essential for ensuring stability and resistance to uplift and lateral forces. They are commonly used in the construction of decks, pergolas, and other outdoor structures that require stabilized posts above the ground to prevent moisture-related deterioration. Key features include elevated bases, also known as standoff bases, which keep wood off the ground to reduce decay from moisture. Additionally, some models are adjustable, accommodating different post sizes and simplifying the installation process.

Types of Post Bases

  • Retrofit Post Bases: designed to be installed after the concrete foundation has already set and cured
  • Cast-in Place Post Bases: also known as 'wet set post bases' are installed in the formwork and concrete is poured around it, embedding the base once it's set
  • Fence Post Bases: while many of the above post bases are also used with fence posts, Simpson also offers several fence-specific post bases
  • Decorative Post Bases: these black powder-coated post bases provide a better aesthetic appeal for outdoor structures like pergolas and decks

Simpson Retrofit Post Base Options

Post Base Collection Collection Details
ABA/ABU/ABW Adjustable Post Bases
Used in versatile construction scenarios requiring precise post placement, such as decks, pergolas, and porches. Ideal for ensuring level structures on uneven grounds. The 3 models in the AB series offer distinct features for different applications:
  • ABA: Adjustable, basic post base for general applications where additional support is not as necessary compared to the other models.
  • ABU: Adjustable with an uplift (additional material providing more surface coverage of the post base) that can be secured using nails or bolts, which is useful for heavier or more demanding applications.
  • ABW: Adjustable with wraparound support allows for fastening on three vertical sides of the post base, with an additional fourth side being able to bend up to provide additional wraparound support.
RPBZ Retrofit Post Bases

The RPBZ retrofit post base is a handy tool designed to strengthen existing posts and columns. This one-size-fits-all model works with any post that's as big as a double 2x4 or larger, making it incredibly versatile. You can use it not just for reinforcing old posts but also for ensuring new ones are solidly connected in structures like braced carports, patio covers, decks, and other outdoor features.

For added safety, the RPBZ can be combined with a CPS composite plastic standoff to help meet building regulations that require a 1-inch gap between the post and ground, protecting your structure from moisture and decay. Installation is straightforward: one RPBZ can be used if your post is right up against a corner, or you can use two for posts that are set away from edges. This setup helps your posts stand strong against wind and earthquakes.

CPTZ Concealed Post Ties
The CPTZ concealed post base offers a sleek, hidden appearance while keeping posts 1 inch above the concrete. This elevation helps prevent rot at the bottom of the post and meets building codes for posts that face outdoor elements like weather and water splash, or for those used in basements. This post base is part of a complete system of hidden connectors, designed to maintain the aesthetic integrity of your projects while ensuring strong structural connections.

Simpson Cast-In Place Post Base Options

Post Base Collection Collection Details
MPBZ Moment Post Bases
The MPBZ post base is a cutting-edge solution that enhances the stability of posts or columns in your outdoor projects like carports, fences, and decks. It features a unique design where a special overlapping sleeve wraps around the post. This design helps prevent the post from twisting at the base, ensuring your structure remains sturdy and secure - essential for structures facing lateral forces like wind or seismic activities.
PB/PBS Regular & Standoff Post Bases
The PB & PBS model post bases provide simple options for various applications but between the two models there are key distinctions:
  • PB: Ideal for applications where the aesthetic finish is important, and the risk of moisture exposure is minimal. While robust, these post bases do not prevent the post from rotating about the base which means they are not suitable for structures with no top-support like fences or carports without additional bracing.
  • PBS: The PBS bases are meant to be set into wet concrete, allowing the concrete to flow into the base for a firm set. These are a great solution for outdoor structures exposed to weather, like decks and pergolas, where preventing moisture-induced decay is crucial.
EPB Elevated Post Bases
These cast-in-place post bases are designed to securely embed within the concrete form while maintaining a 1-inch elevation from the ground. This elevation is essential as it helps prevent rot at the base of the post by keeping it away from moisture. However, it must be noted that these post bases do not provide adequate resistance to prevent members from rotating about the base and therefore are not recommended for non-top-supported installations (such as fences or unbraced carports).
PPBZ Porch Post Bases

The PPBZ porch base is designed for easy installation to support the framing of your porch. With this base, you won't need temporary supports during construction, which simplifies the work for subcontractors and ensures the porch is safe and accessible for installers and inspectors at all times.

The PPBZ is strong enough to handle the weight of most porch frames and roof overhangs even before the concrete floor is poured, ensuring your porch is stable and secure throughout the building process.

Adjustable Porch Post Bases

The PPBF adjustable porch post base is designed to support the framing of your porch reliably through every stage of construction. This advanced base eliminates the need for any temporary vertical supports, which means a more straightforward and robust construction process, especially beneficial when working on the porch roof.

This base is versatile enough to adjust for different porch-slab thicknesses ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches. Contractors can install the post base and the post right at the start of construction and adjust the height to match precisely where the future porch floor will be. This is done by turning the seat on the base up or down along a threaded rod to get the height just right before the concrete is poured.

Simpson Fence Post Options

Post Base Collection Collection Details
E-Z Spikes/Menders/Bases

E-Z products designed to simplify the reinforcement and installation of fence posts, making it both easy and cost-effective. These products are ideal for a variety of fence post projects.

  • E-Z Fence Post Menders: These menders provide a straightforward solution for repairing rotted or damaged 4x4 wood posts, whether they are set in concrete or dirt. The E-Z mender allows you to reinforce weakened wood posts without the need to replace them or the concrete around them.
  • E-Z Retrofit Post Bases: Perfect for attaching 4x4 wood posts to existing concrete, these retrofit post bases streamline the process. They can be securely bolted to the concrete using four 1/2" anchors, such as the Simpson Strong Bolt 2 wedge anchor or the Titen HD large diameter concrete screw, ensuring a stable and robust base for your posts.
  • E-Z Fence Post Spikes: For projects requiring quick setup, the E-Z Fence Post Spikes are an excellent choice. These spikes enable you to install 4x4 wood posts without the need to dig holes or pour concrete. They are versatile and can be used in various applications where fast and easy post installation is beneficial.

Simpson Decorative Post Base Options

Post Base Collection Collection Details
Decorative Post Bases

The Simpson Outdoor Accents collection features post bases specifically designed to secure wood columns to concrete, providing a 1-inch standoff height that helps prevent decay by elevating the wood away from moisture. These post bases are versatile, accommodating both nominal and rough lumber sizes. Additionally, optional decorative side plates are available, enhancing the aesthetic appeal by giving the look of a four-sided post base. This not only adds to the visual interest of the structure but also can complement the architectural style of the surrounding environment.


What are Column Bases?

Compared to post bases, column bases are specifically tailored to support larger columns and are typically used in more substantial structures, such as large decks, covered patios, and architectural columns. They are ideal for heavy-duty applications where columns need to support significant loads, including in structures like carports, porticos, or large gateways. Often larger and constructed from more robust materials, these bases may also feature additional anchoring mechanisms. These mechanisms securely connect the columns to concrete foundations, ensuring firm structural support and enhanced stability under heavy loads.

Types of Column Bases
  • Standoff Column Bases: elevate the post or column above the concrete foundation by a specific height to prevent moisture from contacting the base
  • Non-standoff Column Bases: installed directly on the concrete slab or footing with no elevation, allowing the post to sit flush against the ground or concrete surface - typically where moisture is not a major concern

Simpson Standoff Column Bases

Column Base Collection Collection Details
CBS/CBSQ Column Bases
The CBS and CBSQ column bases are engineered to serve as critical interfaces between columns and their concrete foundations. Their primary role is to securely link columns to the footing surface, effectively transmitting the structural stresses of the building to the foundation. This connection is crucial for the stability and durability of the structure, particularly in environments where the columns are exposed to external stresses or weather conditions.
  • CBS: is typically installed using standard hardware and does not come with specific fastening equipment, which provides flexibility in choosing the appropriate hardware based on specific project needs.
  • CBSQ: includes Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws, facilitating faster installation and a reduced reveal, which offers a cleaner look and maintains more of the column’s cross-sectional area compared to traditional bolts.
ECB Elevated Column Bases
The ECB elevated column base is designed for use with hollow columns or solid-sawn posts, making it an ideal choice for multi-family buildings with stacked balconies. This base stands out as it offers a 2-inch standoff height — the only one you can find ready-made. This extra space allows for easy installation of waterproofing materials and a thin finishing layer, while still maintaining the 1-inch clearance required by building codes to keep posts dry and prevent decay. The ECB is available in two sizes to fit either 6x6 or 8x8 posts, accommodating a variety of building needs.

Simpson Non-Standoff Column Bases

Column Base Collection Collection Details
CB Column Bases
The CB column base efficiently anchors posts to concrete foundations, accommodating a variety of materials including lumber, glulam, and engineered wood products. It is installed by either casting in place or wet setting, ensuring that the base plate aligns perfectly flush with the concrete to support the full weight of the post. This makes the CB an excellent choice for columns that need high structural integrity and durability.
  • Enhanced uplift resistance suitable for areas prone to high winds or seismic activity.
  • Bolt hole placements conform to code requirements, ensuring maximum capacity and safety.

Post Caps & Column Caps

Caps provide the finishing touch to posts and columns, protecting the top from environmental elements and enhancing connection strength between vertical and horizontal members.

Post Caps

Post caps are designed to sit atop posts, protecting them from moisture and debris, and also serve to connect posts to beams or rafters, enhancing the stability of the structure against lateral forces. They are commonly used in applications such as fence posts, deck posts, and roof trusses, where it’s crucial to shield the top of the post from the elements and ensure a secure connection to other structural components. Available in a variety of designs, these caps are versatile, offering both protection and connection, making them suitable for numerous applications.

Types of Post Caps
  • One-Piece Post Caps: One-piece post caps are essential for securing beams to posts, offering crucial lateral and uplift support in wood construction. Made from steel, these connectors are available in a range of models suitable for everything from light to heavy-duty projects. Our selection features post caps with opposing flanges for enhanced lateral resistance, and others with in-line flanges that can fit various post sizes.
  • Two-Piece Post Caps: Two-piece post caps are designed to form a robust connection between a beam and a post, making them perfect for both new constructions and retrofit projects where extra structural support is crucial. These two-piece steel connectors are intended to be used in pairs to meet load requirements.

Simpson One-Piece Post Caps

Post Cap Collection Collection Details
BC/BCS Post Caps
Both the BC and BCS post caps are engineered to enhance the structural integrity of constructions where beams meet posts, primarily providing both uplift and lateral resistance. They are made from 18-gauge material and offer a galvanized finish, with options for additional coatings such as ZMAX® for increased corrosion resistance. These products are designed with opposing flanges to provide increased lateral resistance, a critical feature for maintaining stability in wooden structures.
  • BC Post Caps are suitable for light-duty connections and designed to connect a single beam to a post, ideal for straightforward, small-scale home DIY projects or light structural applications where a single beam is mounted on a post, such as in deck framing or simple overhangs.
  • BCS Post Caps features double-shear nailing which distributes the load more effectively across two points, enhancing strength for heavier-duty applications. These are best suited for more complex or heavy-load projects where multiple beam layers are used, such as in large deck constructions, commercial buildings, or where additional beam strength is necessary to support greater loads.
PCZ/EPCZ Post Caps
The EPCZ and PCZ post caps share a design focus on facilitating fast and easy post-to-beam connections, making them suitable for various construction environments where rapid assembly is valued. Both connectors feature in-line flanges to accommodate multiple post sizes, ensuring flexibility across different projects. They are also constructed from 16-gauge material and include a ZMAX® finish as standard, enhancing their durability and suitability for various exposure conditions.
  • EPCZ Post Caps are specifically end post caps, which implies it's used at the termination points of the construction. These are ideal for structures where beams end at a post and require secure, corrosion-resistant anchoring, such as the ends of a pergola or deck.
  • PCZ Post Caps serves as general post-to-beam connectors, not specifically at the end points. These are suitable for a broad range of applications in framing and building, providing flexibility and strength wherever a beam connects to a post, such as in deck frameworks or overhead structures.

Simpson Two-Piece Post Caps

Post Cap Collection Collection Details
AC/LPCZ/LCE Post Caps
The AC, LCE, and LPCZ post caps are all designed to enhance structural support in both new and retrofit construction projects, ensuring a secure and durable connection between beams and posts. These connectors share common features such as eliminating the need for nailing into end grains and recommending installation in pairs for optimal load handling. They are tailored for applications where the ends of beams meet posts, enhancing overall structural integrity and simplifying installation processes with designs that avoid the need for left or right specific models.
  • AC Post Caps feature flexible nailing patterns to accommodate different loading requirements. Suitable for projects where variable load levels are anticipated, such as in community centers or public structures, where flexibility in structural support strength is needed.
  • LCE Post Caps are designed for conditions where the end of a beam bears directly on a post, and it can accommodate 4x and 6x lumber sizes. Ideal for pergolas, carports, and other outdoor structures where beams end at a post and require a strong, reliable connection.
  • LPCZ Post Caps feature an adjustable design, suitable for 4x or 6x beams, and available in two different gauges depending on the beam size. These are perfect for decks, overhangs, and other constructions where adaptability is crucial and environmental exposure is a concern, requiring robust corrosion protection.

Column Caps

Designed to cover the tops of columns, these caps are crucial for distributing the load more effectively between a column and the beams or rafters it supports. They are particularly essential in large outdoor structures such as covered arenas, large public pavilions, and substantial private constructions where columns intersect with multiple beams or trusses. Typically more robust than post caps, column caps often feature built-in slots for beams and rafters, allowing for more complex joinery and ensuring improved load distribution.

Types of Column Caps
  • Bolted Column Caps: Designed to enhance column-to-beam connections, these steel connectors increase load transfer from beams to columns with added bearing area and feature bolt spacing compliant with NDS codes, offering various configurations including options with legs and for different beam crossing conditions.
  • SDS Screw Column Caps: Utilize Strong-Drive SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws for quick installation and a sleeker profile than standard bolts, these steel connectors cater to a diverse range of applications, with variations such as legged or legless models, suitable for end, cross, and multiple beam intersections.
  • Lally/Steel Column Caps: Specifically engineered for securing steel beams to lally columns, these caps facilitate robust connections, ensuring structural integrity and stability. They are designed to accommodate various beam sizes and configurations, providing a reliable solution for enhancing load-bearing capabilities and meeting construction standards.

Simpson Bolted Column Caps

Column Cap Collection Collection Details
CC Column Caps
The CC is specifically designed to strengthen column-beam connections in wood construction, featuring a column cap that extends its bearing surface beyond the sides of the column to enhance load distribution and support. This product comes with certified welds that ensure strength and loading confidence, and it's equipped to handle increased uplift loads for scenarios like earthquakes and wind. The bolt spacing is compliant with NDS code requirements, ensuring optimal performance, and diamond holes are included for easy temporary fastening.
CCC Cross Column Caps
The CCC is crafted to enhance column-to-beam connections, particularly when multiple wood beams rest atop a column. This cross column cap, when correctly installed, efficiently distributes the load across intersecting beams and bolsters the overall stability of the connection. Customized to specific requirements provided by the designer, the CCC can accommodate a variety of beam and post sizes. Its key features include certified welds that guarantee strength and reliability, bolt spacing that conforms to NDS code requirements for optimal performance, and diamond holes designed for easy temporary fastening during the installation process.
CCT T-Style Column Caps
The CCT is engineered to strengthen column-to-beam connections where two beams intersect in a "T" formation on top of a column. This column cap, when properly installed, effectively distributes the load from the bisecting beam, enhancing the stability and support of the connection. Tailored to meet specific design requirements, the CCT can be special-ordered to fit various combinations of beam and post sizes. Its key features include certified welds that ensure reliable strength and loading capacity, bolt spacing that adheres to NDS code requirements for maximum performance, and diamond holes that allow for easy temporary fastening during installation.
ECC End Column Caps
The ECC is specifically designed for robust column-beam connections at the end of beams in wood construction projects. It features a column cap with an extended bearing surface that goes beyond one side of the column, enhancing load distribution and support for the structure. Key features of the ECC include certified welds that ensure the strength and reliability of the connection, increased uplift loads to withstand earthquakes and wind, and bolt spacing that meets NDS code requirements for optimal performance. Additionally, diamond holes are included for temporary fastening during installation.
ECCL L-Shaped End Column Caps
The ECCL is tailored for enhancing column-to-beam connections at the end of beams, specifically when two beams meet in an "L" formation atop a column. This column cap, once properly installed, effectively distributes the load from the beams, thereby reinforcing the stability of the connection. Each end column cap is custom-ordered based on detailed specifications from the designer to fit various combinations of beam and post sizes. It features certified welds for assured strength and loading capacity, bolt spacing compliant with NDS code for peak performance, and diamond holes for temporary fastening during installation.

Simpson SDS Screw Column Caps

Column Cap Collection Collection Details
CCQ Column Caps
The CCQ column cap is designed for robust column-beam connections in wood construction, enhancing support with an extended bearing surface that improves load distribution. It features Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws for a fast and secure installation, superior to traditional bolt attachments. Key features include a low-profile screw design, certified welds for assured strength, increased uplift load capacity for seismic or wind conditions, and diamond-shaped holes for temporary placement. Available in various thicknesses and finishes such as Simpson Strong-Tie gray, HDG, and stainless steel, the CCQ is suitable for both standard and rough-cut lumber, with optional dimensions to accommodate different column sizes.
CCQM/CCTQM/CCCQM Column Caps
This set of column caps are the only sets NOT intended for use with wood columns. Instead, these column caps are designed for use in raised pier foundations and applications where heavy beams rest on concrete columns.
  • CCQM this model is tailored for use with floor support beams in non-corner locations. The system, which includes certified welds and unique Simpson Strong-Tie SSTB anchor bolts, ensures a secure, flush installation to the edge of the pier using 1/4" x 2 1/2" Strong-Drive SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws.
  • CCTQM this model is suited for floor support beams in non-corner locations and includes a side stirrup to facilitate connections with intermediate beams at 90° angles. Key features include heavy-gauge beam seats, certified welds, and unique Simpson Strong-Tie® SSTB® anchor bolts that enable a flush installation to the pier edge, using 1/4" x 2 1/2" Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws for optimal security.
  • CCCQM these accommodate floor support beams and intermediate beams at 90° angles using a stirrup on each side of the main channel. The system features hot-dip galvanized or Simpson Strong-Tie gray finishes and uses 1/4" x 2 1/2" Strong-Drive SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws for secure installation. Certified welds and strategic screw configuration ensure high uplift and reliable load capacity.
ECCLQ/CCCQ/CCTQ Column Caps
This set of column caps are designed for use with end columns (ECCLQ), cross-columns (CCCQ), and T's of two columns (CCTQ). Each provide strong column-to-beam connections and distribute the load from beams and provides support for the connection.
  • ECCLQ tailored for strong column-beam connections in "L" formation applications, where two beams intersect at the end of a column. It ensures effective load distribution and robust support using Strong-Drive SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws.
  • CCCQ engineered for effective column-to-beam connections with multiple wood beams atop a column, ensuring optimal load distribution and support. Utilizing Strong-Drive SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws, the CCCQ offers a faster installation and a sleeker profile than traditional through bolts.
  • CCTQ specifically crafted for strong column-to-beam connections in a "T" formation, efficiently distributing the load from intersecting beams and ensuring support. It features Strong-Drive SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws for quicker, lower-profile installations compared to standard bolts and is custom-ordered to fit various beam and post sizes.
ECCQ End Column Caps
The ECCQ is designed for robust column-beam connections at the end of beams in wood construction. It features an extended bearing surface on the column cap to enhance load distribution and support. For fast and efficient installation, the ECCQ utilizes Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws, which attach to a larger net section area of the column than typical bolt attachments.

Simpson Steel & Lally Column Caps

Column Cap Collection Collection Details
LCC/CCOS Lally & Steel Column Caps
These caps are precision-engineered to attach steel beams securely to lally columns, promoting strong and stable connections. They are adaptable to a range of beam sizes and layouts, offering a dependable method for boosting the load-bearing capacity and conforming to construction norms.
  • CCOS offers a high-capacity solution for column-to-beam connections, designed specifically for field welding to steel columns without column straps. For efficient installation, it utilizes Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive self-tapping screws to secure the column cap to the cap plate. Key features include adequate bearing length for handling larger girder reactions and compatibility with both solid sawn lumber and engineered wood products.
  • LCC engineered for welding directly to lally columns and attaching to girders, providing a high-capacity column-to-beam connection suitable for new or replacement applications. It features side plates that secure the beam, facilitating a safer installation than typical cap plates. The cap's design ensures precise positioning over the column for welding and is specifically tailored for use with 3 1/2" and 4" diameter lally columns, offering adequate bearing length for handling larger girder reactions.

Any Further Questions About Post Brackets

Clearly, there's a lot of options when it comes to post brackets - whether post caps & bases, or column caps & bases, it can be daunting to decide which product best suits your needs. Our team of experts has a depth of knowledge in the fastener industry. If you have any additional questions, be sure to reach out and we'll be glad to help.

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