Rebar FAQs from DIYers


Decks & Docks, your one-stop-shop for all your deck, dock, and seawall needs, carries rebar and stirrups to support and form your concrete beams, walls, and seawalls.

We understand that your rebar needs may vary depending on the project. To make it easier for contractors to get everything they need in just one location, we now bend rebar to spec for custom stirrups. We generally stock #5 and #8 rebar and can fabricate custom stirrups from #3 rebar and other sizes if needed—just ask!

At Decks & Docks, we use a computerized rod bender to fabricate your stirrup to your specifications. We’ll input your specs and our rod bender will precision bend your rebar into the exact shape you need. This allows for uniformity between stirrups, which will enhance the structural strength of your concrete project and help result in a successful build. We can even deliver the stirrups and rebar to your site to make your life easier and allow your project run more smoothly.

We work with both contractors and DIY-ers—and we understand that your needs and knowledge base may be different. At Decks & Docks, that’s not a problem. We’re happy to supply you with exactly what you need—and we can help you determine just what that is if you’re unsure.

To order rebar or custom stirrups for your project, contact us or stop by one of our locations.


If you’re a DIYer and haven’t used rebar or aren’t sure whether you need it, read on to learn more, or contact our helpful experts online or in-store. Keep in mind that certain projects, such as concrete walls, are best left to the professionals—for both safety and permitting reasons—and seek advice from a trusted contractor for difficult or structurally important projects.

  • WHAT IS REBAR? Rebar stands for “reinforcing bar” and is used in concrete projects such as walls, foundations, and bridges to provide—you guessed it—reinforcement. Rebar is made from steel and features a unique texture to allow it to better bind to concrete. The texture is extremely important for rebar. Without it, the rebar could eventually be pushed out of the concrete structure, thus making it unsound.
  • WHEN DO I NEED REBAR? Concrete works well to handle compressive forces such as water pushing against a seawall or a vehicle’s weight on a bridge. However, it doesn’t handle tensile force as well, such as the anchoring on a sea wall. Steel, which is great with both compression and tensile forces, is then used to handle those tensile forces, however, it is more expensive than concrete. By using steel in the form of rebar as a structural mechanism for concrete, contractors can utilize a less expensive building medium (concrete) while maximizing its strength. Both concrete and steel tend to expand and contract similarly, making them complimentary for handling both types of forces required to erect or build structurally-sound elements. Concrete and rebar have been used in seawalls, foundations, parking garages, bridges, concrete walls, and more.

    Rebar is generally covered in concrete and not visible. There are various parameters for how much concrete should cover rebar depending on the type of project and how the rebar is being used.

    Now, not all concrete projects require rebar. If you’re just planning on making a nice walkway in your backyard, for example, you probably don’t need rebar. Large concrete projects that will encounter different forces or weight will likely require rebar. If you aren’t sure, check your project specs or speak to an expert at Decks & Docks.
  • WHAT SIZES DOES REBAR COME IN? Rebar is sized by diameter and can be cut to different lengths or bent depending on your project. A #3 rebar has a diameter of ⅜” and is called a #3 because of the ⅛ inches included in the nominal diameter. A #4 is ½”, #5 is ⅝”, #6 is ¾”, and so on. As the rebar gets thicker, the amount of weight it can handle per foot also increases.
  • WHAT SIZE OF REBAR DO I NEED? The size and length of the rebar you need will depend on your project. If you’re not sure whether your project calls for rebar or will require rebar, it may be a good idea to speak to a professional.
  • DO I NEED SPECIAL TOOLS TO WORK WITH? If you will need to cut rebar or bend it, you will need special tools to do so. However, Decks & Docks can cut the rebar for you and form stirrups if you know the sizes you need. We use computerized rebar bender to precision bend rebar to spec.

    In addition, depending on your project, you may need ties to secure your rebar. There are different types of rebar ties and the type you should use may differ depending on how the rebar will be used and personal preference. Using rebar tie wire, you may use a snap tie (most common type), a wrap and snap (for connecting horizontal and vertical elements), a saddle tie, a wrap and saddle, and figure eight tie (for vertical elements).

    Tie wire may be purchased in a spool or purchased pre-formed. If you choose to use a spool of tie wire, keep in mind that you will also need cutting tools in order to create your specific ties.
  • WHAT ARE STIRRUPS? Stirrups are bent pieces of rebar that form a cage around which concrete is poured for structural components like beams and seawalls. They are generally made from #3 rebar. They can help provide both form and anchoring to a concrete project.

    If you’re starting a concrete project or need rebar for another project, give us a call to learn more about our rebar and our stirrup fabrication or stop by one of our many locations!

    And remember—if your project requires permitting or structural integrity, consider speaking to a qualified concrete contractor in your area for the best results.

Order Your Rebar
From Decks & Docks

Decks & Docks is your one-stop-shop for all of your decking needs. From lumber to tools and hardware, we carry everything you need to get the job done right. When it comes to decking, you have options. If you’re not sure what you should get, don’t worry. Our team is happy to help you determine which product work best for your project. Stop by one of our locations or contact us online to learn more.


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