Forms or no forms?

Old 07-26-05, 05:57 AM
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Question Forms or no forms?

I am constructing new front steps at my house. The old concrete steps had heaved up too many times and were leaning in toward the house causing rot and other water problems every time it rained. I have dug two 12" wide footing trenches about 45" deep. The trenches run perpendicular to the house, one on each side of the front door. The footings will support 3 granite treads supported by brick. My question is do I need forms that run the depth of these footings or can I just use forms for the top 8" or so? If I need to form the entire footing, can I use 3/4" ply? Will it pull away easily when it's time to remove it?
Old 07-26-05, 07:07 PM
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You can form just the top of the footers from the surface up, but use 2x6 rather than 3/4" plywood. If you oil the forms, they will pull free.
Old 07-26-05, 08:46 PM
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CC Blocks as footer

Now I am thinking of using a poured footer at the bottom of the trench, say 6" thick with some rebar and then constructing the rest of the footer up to ground level with concrete blocks. It seems much easier. Any thoughts?
Old 07-26-05, 09:03 PM
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Forms or no forms?

No problem. It is done every day.

The 6" is no problem and reinforcement in really not needed since you have no real load. Steel only keeps things together.

To give you confidence, in Sao Paulo, Brazil they build 15 to 20 story load bearing block apartment buildings out of 6" block walls with no concrete or steel columns. - 6" Block walls partially reinforced with vertical steel at 24" to 72" on center, depending on which floor. Your 45" wall with 3 pieces of granite is nothing to worry about.

Old 07-27-05, 12:12 PM
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Thanks, my friend. You made my day. Now on to the project.

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