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Old 03-11-2010, 08:31 AM   #1
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Footing design

Good Morning.

Talked with the code enforcement in my area and got some information.

I am planning on building a 8ft tall walkout basement with a single story house on top. I have a few questions and need some advise before moving further with design.

1. Per code Footings have to be at least 46 inches below the surface for frost protection. Recommended footing width would be twice the width of the foundation walls.
2. Frost walls can be the same thickness as the foundation walls. They told me some people have the frost walls and foundation walls poured at the same time. one continuous wall about 12 foot. Is these correct?

3. To prepare the footing is it best to stamp the ground and level before adding stone and building the forms or do you stamp the ground and level after the stone is added and build the forms for the footings?

4. For the walk out basement design. I seen it done two ways they have concrete walls poured on all four sides or concrete walls poured on three sides and the walkout wall is made of wood. I see the wood aspect being easier during the framing stage. to put in doors and windows easier. Any advise?


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Old 03-11-2010, 09:59 AM   #2
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Are you designing/building this yourself? Your excavator/foundation people will be able to answer these questions without you spending a lot of time researching. If you want to learn you might want to read "Foundations and Concrete Work" by Taunton press.

Footings are built on undisturbed soil, not tamped gravel.


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Old 03-11-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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Yes i am planning on doing the excavating and installation my self. I might have misread the but my understanding is that there is at least 6 inches of gravel between the earth and the bottom of the footing. So no stamping is required?

Thank you for your reply.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:34 PM   #4
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Take a minute and update your profile with some kind of location so people can better answer your question.
In our area, NE Ohio, for a typical foundation with concrete footers, the footers are poured on the excavated grade. There is no gravel between the grade and the concrete footing. There is a basement wall system called 'Superior Wall' that doesn't use a traditional footing, but instead places precast concrete walls on a tamped gravel base. That is an engineered system, not to be confused with what you asked.
If you are planning on building your own house, and have a lot of questions like this, I would recommend finding a good local architect in your area and let him/her design your house. They will normally detail the print on how specific areas of the house are to be built. Foundations differ depending on where you are. You only have one chance to do it right. Very important part of the house.
Mike Hawkins
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:22 PM   #5
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Mike's right. It is uncommon to place footings on gravel of any kind. Footings are placed directly on the soil unless the soil's bearing capacity is too low to support them. Gravel is placed under slabs and on the outside of the footing/wall around the required perimeter drain tile.

It is common to frame the walkout basement's downwalls. Normally the side foundation walls are stepped down along with the grade and the downwalls are framed there as well.

No offense intended but you're asking some pretty basic questions in a couple threads. Are you sure you aren't biting off more than you can chew in undertaking building your own home? You definitely need to retain a competent architect....It will save you big bucks in the long run I imagine.
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footing , walkout basement

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