Cementing post footers?
I am building a hot tub deck and am using Treated 4x4 posts and cement footers sunk 43". My question comes from hearing 2 ways to secure the posts the first being to set the post in, plumb, and then add the cement letting it cure with post in it then backfilling. The second would be to pour the cement and allow it to cure before adding the posts and then backfilling. Then there seems to be more dispute on whether the posts will rot if surrounded by the backfilled dirt and that sand or gravel should be used. My soil is crappy with a heavy clay content so I do fear possible drainage issues.
My original thinking was to cement the posts into the footer after making sure they were plump and secure and backfill with some fine particled playsand I had left over from an aquiarium along with soil and clay being sure to pack it every foot or so.
I will be using fast setting concrete as well since here in michigan the weather looks like it will only stay in the mid 40's and 50's for a few days with today being the only day it won't rain. ( I will be covering holes with a tarp to avoid any excess moisture since there is enough in the ground)