Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the “Never-Blow-Over” J-HOOK™ Umbrella Base for Decks and Docks

Will my umbrella pole fit in the J-HOOK™ receiver tube?

When designing the J-HOOK™ we looked at many Market Umbrella manufacturers and retailers. Our research showed that a vast majority of the Market Umbrella poles in the marketplace are 1.5” in diameter, so that’s what we designed for.

Since the initial production and design of the J-HOOK™ we have encountered a few 2” Market Umbrella Poles, and without some kind of adaptation they will not fit.

How big can my Umbrella Canopy be?

The J-HOOK™ will withstand any size Market Umbrella Canopy you choose, as long as your pole is 1.5” in diameter. We recommend you take your umbrella down in very strong winds. Your “never-blow-over” J-HOOK™ will survive, but your umbrella may not.

How can I tell what size Joists I have, and what size Fastening Bracket I need?

In the Lakehouse Innovation™ website, our FASTENING BRACKET COLLECTION SUMMARY and FASTENING BRACKET SELECTION GUIDE and DOCK MANUFACTURERS REFERENCE GUIDE documents have many Dock styles and Dock Builders listed with their customary size of joists. We are always looking for and adding new Dock Builder specs.

We also have a video on the website that shows how to measure your joists.
If you are still not sure, we welcome emails to our “Contact us” address Our VP of Production will, with a little discussion and some photographs, help you figure out the correct Fastening Bracket for your J-HOOK™.

Can the J-HOOK™ work on Diagonal Decking?

The J-HOOK™ will not work for non-perpendicular floor boards.

Can the J-HOOKTM work with Composite Decking?

Yes, but …The J-HOOK™ Fastening Bracket requires a 3/16th of an inch space to pass down through the floorboards. Most builders of wooden decks and docks leave a 1/4" gap for water and debris to pass through. Most builders of composite decking do not leave that size of a gap, or the composite has a "tongue and groove" pattern. We do have several happy J-HOOK™ customers with Composite Decking. Some of them have "nudged" their boards to make a little extra room, others have chosen a few key locations that they want their J-HOOK™ to be placed throughout the day and have routered out a little extra space.

Does the J-HOOK™ require regular maintenance?

The J-HOOK™ does not require maintenance. However, with normal use, sand and dirt may find its way on to the threaded rod. It will tighten and loosen more smoothly if you apply a little synthetic grease on the Fastening Bracket threaded rod and the rubber O-ring once each year.

Can I leave my J-HOOK™ out all winter?

Yes, but….. it can become a tripping hazard when covered in snow. And the natural contraction and swelling of wood decking may make it difficult to undo in the spring. We recommend you bring your J-HOOK™ in for the winter (we do have a customer on the St. Lawrence River who uses her J-HOOK as a dockside Christmas Tree stand – see photo in Lakehouse News!).