How to Make Concrete for Footings

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Footings are braces under a home's foundation. Footings will help brace the home, and are very valuable, especially when in soft soil. If the house footings were placed off-center, then there are probabilities that there will be foundation problems in the near future depending on the size of the home. Footings are very important for a proper stability of the home.

Things You'll Need

  • Ready-mix concrete Shovel Concrete edging tool Anchor bolt 6-inch post base Trowel
  • Check the soil. Place stakes into soil to see if it is soft or hard. Soft soil will be easy to put the stake into. You will need to either remove the soft soil and replace it with gravel or leave it, but put the footing down further until it reaches tougher soil.

  • Determine the bearing capacity of the soil. If the soil is soft and the footing goes deeply into the soil, then the bearing will need to be wider. In weak soil, the bearing capacity will be 2 feet wide or more. In stronger soil, the bearing capacity will be less.

  • Figure out the size of house. For instance, determine if the house is one or two stories. The foundation wall of a two-story house will need to be centered on the footing or it can ruin the foundation. For a one-story house, it isn't as vital to have the foundation wall as exactly in the center of the footing.

  • Dig into the soil where the footing will go. Nail four 2-by-8 inch boards together to make a box frame of 16 by 16 inches. You will need to place this into the bottom of the hole.

  • Mix about two bags of ready-mix concrete in a wheelbarrow. Shovel out cement to put into the box frame. Put in a few inches of cement. Place two pieces of reinforcing bar in the mix in the shape of an X. Put some more concrete in, and place another two pieces of rebar in the mix. Be sure to push the rebar into the cement and that the cement is to the top of the frame.

  • Place the anchor bolt into the middle of the concrete. Make sure the L shape goes in first and the other side sticks out of the concrete. Do not put the nut and washer on yet. Use a trowel to smooth out the cement. Then use the edger to form a squared edge to the footing in order to prevent cracking.

  • Put a 6-inch post base on top of footing. You will place this in the middle where the anchor bolt is sticking out. Be sure the put the anchor bolt through the middle hole of the post base. Then wait for the cement to dry. The next day the cement should be dry, and you can place the nut and washer on the anchor bolt along with the foundation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Determining if the soil is weak is very important when placing a cement footing. It can ruin the foundation later if it isn't done right.
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