Footers – Truly the Foundation of Your Project


Having dug down to virgin soil, you’re finally ready to form and pour the concrete footers. Homeowners are anxiously awaiting the start of their new basement, the beginning of their new home, deck, or remodeling project. Masonry and framing crews are on standby eager to jump in and get the project moving. Everything rests upon the footers. By its very name, this represents that upon which the remainder of the build stands. You have to get it absolutely right, no mistakes. And second chances, at least when you’re dealing with concrete, are a costly and burdensome undertaking.

It is highly recommended that you hire a reputable local concrete contractor to perform your work because the stability of your footers is so incredibly important. Your local ready mix association is often a good source for finding reputable concrete contractors in your area.

To the person doing the work, here’s a few quick tips to pouring your footers and getting it right the first time.

– Solid ground is everything. If there’s even the smallest question about the soil integrity, it is imperative that you stop and assess the situation. Perhaps you may even need to enlist the aid of a soil engineer. It’s worth it. Without a solid foundation underpinning your trench footer the whole thing could easily settle and shift, ultimately wreaking havoc on your build in the long run.

– Plan for the unpredictable. While it sounds odd, it is an important component of any footer pour. For instance, the concrete truck may not be able to reach the excavation site. In such cases, you will have to have a backup plan. Generally this will involve either renting a special small piece of equipment for this, or relying upon good old manual labor, shovels and wheelbarrows. There always needs to be a contingency plan in place.

– Always reinforce your footers. Rebar (usually #4 or 5 depending on what the plans call for) should be inserted into the footer and embedded in your pour. It is critical that you do not simply lay the steel along the bottom of the trench footer, rather you’re going to need to hang the bars as there needs to be concrete underneath the rebar as well. And on longer runs, the steel needs to be overlapped by at least a foot. You do not want to chance having gaps and thus areas lacking proper reinforcement.

If you take the time and do your footers correctly, hopefully the rest of the build should be a piece of cake. And while perhaps you can’t really guarantee that-at least the footers will be flawless!

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