Old 01-06-12, 01:18 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: southeast pennsylvania
Posts: 602
Received 7 Upvotes on 7 Posts

I am beginning to build an addition that will become a family room and the first step will be to install footers. I checked with the code department and told him I would go 36 inches deep and 16 inches wide, and he replied that the 36 inches is fine but I must go 20 inches wide and 8 inches thick. He lost me with the 8 inches thick because I thought the thickness is the 36 inches. Could someone explain that to me? Thank you.

Old 01-06-12, 04:31 AM
tldoug's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 284
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I think you confused the foundation stem wall and footer terminology.
This may help. The footer/footing is positioned below the stem wall to spread the load over a wider area in order to prevent settling. Part of the purpose is to reduce the amount of material needed in the wall itself. Also, a poured footing allows you to use CMUs (Concrete Masonry Units, also often called "Cinder Blocks") for the stem wall.

The required width of the footing is a function of the type of soil and type of construction. Other than a soils engineer, your building department is the best source for that type of information.

Lastly, don't skimp on the steel reinforcement ("rebar"). There should be at least two continuous strands throughout the footing. Because this is an addition, you will want to drill into the existing footing and insert the ends of the rebar to provide vertical support in order to keep everything at the same level after you're done.
Old 01-06-12, 06:58 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,157
Received 1,273 Upvotes on 1,213 Posts
You're thinking of the wall - the footer is what the wall sits on, as Doug's drawing shows.
Old 01-06-12, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 127
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The thing to verify with the building department is how far below your final grade level do they require you to be with the bottom of your footing. Does the building department require the bottom of the wall to be 36" below grade and then the bottom of the footing another 8" below that (44" below grade) or does the bottom of the footing have to be at 36" below grade. The more excavation you do the more dirt you have to pay to remove, haul away, stockpile & backfill, etc. The extra 8" could increase your excavation depth by 15% to 20% which could be substantial. Of course your have to get below the frost line if you are in an area subject to freeze/thaw issues so this may determine the required depth for you. Doug's drawing illustrates the detail fairly well. The only thing I would add is a keyway in the footing to allow the foundation (stem) wall to lock into the footing. The keyway is typically created by placing a 2x4 in the center of the footing and then removing it after the footing sets up. This notch (keyway) allows the wall to tie the two together.
Old 01-06-12, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 593
Upvotes: 0
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
we made our keyways like looped off pyramids but was in the days of batter boards,termite sheilds and such do they still do that?
Old 01-07-12, 04:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 20
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Sill Insulation

Going to do an addition myself. The drawing is very good on details. Was wondering what is the purpose of the sill insulation and what kind of material would you use for that? Thanks.
Old 01-07-12, 05:18 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 36,607
Upvotes: 0
Received 9 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Sill insulation is somewhat of an air barier between the concrete and wood. It comes in rolls and is ridged along it's length.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: