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Old 08-07-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
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Constructing Concrete Gate Columns - How big a footer is necessary?


I am trying to come up with a plan for constructing a set of Concrete gate columns. They are 24" x 24" 7.5' tall. I spoke with a masonry contractor and he provided me with a drawing for how he would construct them. Another contractor looked at his plans and said his footer is much too small because I live in a hurricane area. Who is correct and what is the proper way to make sure these columns are built properly?

Anyone here knowledgeable in this area? The plan says 7' but the columns wll actually be 7.5'.

Thank you!
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:12 PM   #2
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Adding you location would really help with answers, especially in hurricane area. There are different requirements (for very good reasons) for many counties along a coast. Do you need a permit? - This may open up the doors to a lot of approved standardized plans for your area. The depth could also be a factor to avoid claims from others being hit by a failed gate post and a flying gate that really creates damage. - After Katrina, I saw a damaged $750,000 home that was leveled by debris knocking holes in the second story and causing moisture and mold damage.

I assume the posts will also be connected to a fence.

Now the detailed questions:

What type of fence (privacy or chain link) that could determine the wind affects.

If the fence is existing, what is the configuration of the post footings and have they tilted?

How big is the gate and what type?

The drawing does not give any information on the footing thickness, but there is a lot of reinforcement in it and and in the post than may be too much.

How good is the "virgin soil" or the "compacted fill"?

To be a real nit-picker, how do you build a 7' or a 7'-6" column with 8"(nominal) block heights? For appearance, I would imagine the contractor would pick the lowest side to set the top height and then use this for the other column to determine the earth cover, which should be a little greater than the lower side.

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