Building My House

I have always wanted to build my own house. I am retired now, so I have the time. I found some land, designed a house that would fit the land and my needs and got started. I am doing all the work myself, so progress will be fairly slow. To read this blog from the beginning, start with the oldest archive and read posts from last to first.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Forming Up Footers

Here are the first footers I formed up. I could have just filled the ditch with concrete (and rebar) and put in steps where I needed an elevation change, but then installing the perimeter drain would have been almost impossible (without re-digging); so the form boards go up to leave space for the drain.

This is the south wall form-up. It is 57 feet long and has a total of five step-downs (four are visible here). Though you can't see it because of shadow, the trench to the left of these boards averages 22-24 inches wide. This would make a very nice footer being that wide, but it would also use up a LOT of concrete (expensive). So, in the end I did come back and put in a second set of form boards 16-17 inches from the ones shown. I just wish I had a picture of the double form boards.

How did I choose 16" as my desired width. One of the concrete books I read from the local library had a table that discussed footer width, concrete compressive strength and type of soil and compaction of said soil. These footers sit on the shale layer and it's a well compacted and hard. So, the book said 16" wide would be sufficient. Now, if the soil was loose, uncompacted sand; then 24" would be much better.


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