Proper Footings


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Old 10-07-04, 07:07 PM
mailman
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Question Proper Footings

I had three footings rise about four inches above grade last winter and they never went back down. I had the contractor dig them up the other day and they were not even down three feet and code in Massachusetts is four feet. The problem that I have now is when he re-dug them he did go down four feet but the holes are probably twelve inches at the bottom and twenty four inches at the top so the holes are sloped. I'm wondering if the frost will pull these footings up, he did use twelve bags of 80lb cement wich is 960lbs a hole but he did not put tubes in the hole so the cement is just poured into the hole. I will appreciate as much information from anyone with knowledge of these problems and if you think that these new footings will be O.K. THANKS
 
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Old 10-08-04, 04:29 PM
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If the holes are narrower at the bottom than they are at the top, there's a good chance that they will heave. Had they been wider at the bottom than at the top, they wouldn't. The weight of the concrete in the hole means nothing, except that it will take more pressure from the frost to raise the footings. But the frost will probably win.
 
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Old 10-08-04, 05:24 PM
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I would be afraid it will shoot them out of there like a wine cork. It might take a while, but i suspect it will happen. I always use a tube form for the top 2 feet and let the bottom foot or so bell out a bit.
 
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Old 10-08-04, 06:10 PM
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Hellrazor,

Good analogy. That's what I see happening too. Of course I'm out here on the left coast and frost just isn't an issue for the most part. (We just have to build for earthquakes, put up with volcanoes, etc.!!)
 
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Old 10-09-04, 01:50 PM
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Frost lines are worse then it seems since you can get heaving as often as the ground freezes and thaws per winter. And what makes me wonder if 32" is enough around here is... in the last 4 years we had 2 years that water mains were freezing. Most of them are down 30-36". Friend of mine is an excavation contractor and he was hitting frost down to 36" depending on the soil types. I have a post cemented in the ground here when the cap is a bit larger then the hole, it took 3 years, but its starting to push itself out. And by a bit, its no more then a 2" rim all the way around.
 
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Old 10-10-04, 06:50 AM
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Will Fail a Code Inspection

Originally Posted by mailman
I had three footings rise about four inches above grade last winter and they never went back down. I had the contractor dig them up the other day and they were not even down three feet and code in Massachusetts is four feet. The problem that I have now is when he re-dug them he did go down four feet but the holes are probably twelve inches at the bottom and twenty four inches at the top so the holes are sloped. I'm wondering if the frost will pull these footings up, he did use twelve bags of 80lb cement wich is 960lbs a hole but he did not put tubes in the hole so the cement is just poured into the hole. I will appreciate as much information from anyone with knowledge of these problems and if you think that these new footings will be O.K. THANKS
-------------------------

Your current situation may fail code inspection for Massachusetts for 2 reasons:

1) Massachusetts uses the 2003 IRC residential building code which requires footers to be square and formed. You cannot simply pour concrete into a trench and call it a footer.

2)Code does not allow for the direct burial of posts into the ground. Deck footers usually need to be placed on top of concrete or masonry piers positively anchored to a proper footer.

Have your code office check these footers because under IRC it appears you have a continuing problem with this builder....
 
 

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