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Old 03-13-2013, 12:43 PM   #16
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Rebar in footers?


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Originally Posted by tibberous View Post
New Jersey.

Problem is that my footer bed is REALLY unlevel - I can either pay $3600 to have someone else do them, spend a day with a shovel fixing them, or pay an extra grand in concrete and just make them super-deep... well, actually super-deep in some places and normally-deep in others.
Can't you just put some dirt back in the areas that are super deep? That seems like the cheapest way.

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Old 03-13-2013, 12:47 PM   #17
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Rebar in footers?


I don't know why no one is answering your question, so here goes.

No you do not have to put rebar in the footer, just like there is no law that is requiring you to put gas in your car. Of course if you want to drive the vehicle, then the laws of physics will eventually compel you to add gas.

Likewise, the cost of rebar is so minimal to the overall construction expense, that it simply becomes a very cheap form of insurance.

Two pieces of .5" bar evenly spaced near the bottom of the footer, sitting on a few evenly space bricks, is easy to do. I have also placed the concrete first and then set the rebar on top and tamped it down with a rake.

The only concern with a variable depth footer is that the minimum thickness is sufficient to carry the load. I helped a guy poor a footer for his house. He ordered too much concrete and by the time we got around to the garage area we had about 4 extra yards that he could send back to the plant or use it in some way. He formed the ends of the trench around the garage and filled the garage footer up over 2 feet thick. His response was "there are worse places to waste concrete than in your footer"

The extra thickness is only hard on your wallet, nothing more.

From experience, a sloppy footer ends up making a sloppy foundation, which ends up making a sloppy building. Can't really explain why, but that is how it goes almost every time.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:07 PM   #18
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Rebar in footers?


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Originally Posted by tibberous View Post
I don't have any plans. This project started as a patio - then I was like, "wow, this skidloader moves a lot of dirt, bet I could move this hill and build a garage"
No plans?? So no permit?? You are already in trouble.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:27 PM   #19
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Rebar in footers?


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Originally Posted by dakzaag View Post
I don't know why no one is answering your question, so here goes.

No you do not have to put rebar in the footer, just like there is no law that is requiring you to put gas in your car. Of course if you want to drive the vehicle, then the laws of physics will eventually compel you to add gas.

Likewise, the cost of rebar is so minimal to the overall construction expense, that it simply becomes a very cheap form of insurance.

Two pieces of .5" bar evenly spaced near the bottom of the footer, sitting on a few evenly space bricks, is easy to do. I have also placed the concrete first and then set the rebar on top and tamped it down with a rake.

The only concern with a variable depth footer is that the minimum thickness is sufficient to carry the load. I helped a guy poor a footer for his house. He ordered too much concrete and by the time we got around to the garage area we had about 4 extra yards that he could send back to the plant or use it in some way. He formed the ends of the trench around the garage and filled the garage footer up over 2 feet thick. His response was "there are worse places to waste concrete than in your footer"

The extra thickness is only hard on your wallet, nothing more.

From experience, a sloppy footer ends up making a sloppy foundation, which ends up making a sloppy building. Can't really explain why, but that is how it goes almost every time.

Excellent, straight forward advise, from someone who does it for a living.......

I always say: "Unless you can figure out a way to put the rebar in later, after the concrete failed, I'll just put it in right away"......

As for the concerns over the OP's footing depths, I also think they're unwarranted. I've yet to run into a building inspector who was concerned that our footings were too thick. Or a soil engineeer. Or a structural engineer. Or a state building inspector. Or a civil engineer.......

Variable depth footings occur all the time, wether it's intentional or not. It's not uncommon for the excavator to run into bad soil on a portion of the excavation, and then step the footing down through this area. If it's CMU walls, you can do an 8" jump in the footing, or just pour it thicker depending on how long the section is.........
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:50 AM   #20
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Rebar in footers?


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Originally Posted by brockmiera View Post
Can't you just put some dirt back in the areas that are super deep? That seems like the cheapest way.
You certainly don't want to put dirt back in the hole. You don't pour footers on disturbed earth. The disturbed earth will settle under the weight of the structure.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:54 AM   #21
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Rebar in footers?


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
Excellent, straight forward advise, from someone who does it for a living.......

I always say: "Unless you can figure out a way to put the rebar in later, after the concrete failed, I'll just put it in right away"......

As for the concerns over the OP's footing depths, I also think they're unwarranted. I've yet to run into a building inspector who was concerned that our footings were too thick. Or a soil engineeer. Or a structural engineer. Or a state building inspector. Or a civil engineer.......

Variable depth footings occur all the time, wether it's intentional or not. It's not uncommon for the excavator to run into bad soil on a portion of the excavation, and then step the footing down through this area. If it's CMU walls, you can do an 8" jump in the footing, or just pour it thicker depending on how long the section is.........
Stepped footings are pretty common, but they should have re-bar both horizontal and vertical
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:56 AM   #22
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Rebar in footers?


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No plans?? So no permit?? You are already in trouble.
Around here you can build up to a thousand square feet without a permit, provided that it's not living space and is unattached to a dwelling.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:53 AM   #23
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Rebar in footers?


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If you building a garage, may be better to build the stem wall (block or concrete) from the footing upward about 8" above the planned slab elevation. This allows you to have a floating slab that can be poured later and will get you siding above grade and easy to wash out and provide drainage to wherever you want (front door or central rock well) if you track in salt and debris.
my FIL built a garage that way. i wouldn't doubt he did it wrong. but after many years, things started settling in different directs. you wouldn't believe the mess that garage is. forget about having the doors seal.

imo, a mono slab, for a regular garage is the way to go.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:03 AM   #24
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Rebar in footers?


Fix'n -

That was be acceptable in you climate or even somewhat satisfactory for a detached garage.

If the garage is attached, the foundation for the garage should be the same foundation as the house itself, because the become one structure.

There is no substitute for going down if you have frost problems in your area. A strip footing is faster and idiot-proof and provides more flexibility regarding elevations and drainage, plus it gets the rot-prone wood far enough above grade an allows a higher garage door (if desired) because the wood is on the curb above the slab that is poured much later.

Dick

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