A Concrete Footing is the Sole of Your Home
By Mark J. Donovan
|Concrete footings are the unsung heroes in a quality built home. For most home construction the concrete footing forms the base of your home. Concrete footings are installed below the frost line to prevent the home from heaving and settling during winter months. Foundation walls and Lally support columns rest on the concrete footings. Framing construction is then built upon the foundation walls and Lally columns.
The specific dimensions of the concrete footing vary with local building codes, the load bearing value of the soil, the number of levels in the home, and the type of framing construction, e.g. wood framing versus masonry construction.
In terms of the depth, or thickness, of the concrete footing, it should be no less than the projection of the footing on either side of the foundation wall.
|For example, in the case of an 8” thick foundation wall centered on a 22” wide concrete footing, the footing depth of the concrete footing should be at least 7” thick.
In terms of concrete footing dimensional requirements for wood framed homes on continuous spread footings, concrete footings that run along the exterior walls of the home, typical dimensions are between 16” to 22” wide and 6” to 16” in depth, depending upon the load bearing capacity of the soil and the number of levels in the home.
In terms of the dimensional requirements for spot concrete footings, the footing pads placed under Lally columns, the typical dimensions are 24”x 24”, with a 10” to 12” depth, again depending upon the load bearing capacity of the soil and the number of levels in the home.
Steel rebar is also commonly included in concrete footings to provide additional strength and support.
So if you have plans to build a home or home addition, make sure to carefully consider the design and construction of the concrete footings. The lack of, or poorly constructed concrete footings, can cause a home to settle and crack, and potentially make the home too dangerous to occupy.
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