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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grader here with a question. I've dug and poured a lot of footings, and never had a complaint. New mason on scene has a complaint that my footings (residential 2 story homes) were 3/4" high in several spots. I always look for a steady or low beep on my grade pegs so things stay pretty true. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't a mason find the highest elevation on a footing and use it as a base line so that everything else is low? As long as the elevation doesn't fluctuate too wildly? What's the average max mortar bed thickness you're willing to use to level things out? Just looking for facts. Thanks in advance for backing or beating me up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No forms. Here in western NC we dig to frost line, set rebar pegs to grade and pour. Letting the soil be a natural form and locate the pegs during pour to set grade. A lot less time and materials compared to some areas I've heard of that form. I sure could dial in the elevation with forms to screed off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Block walls built on sub-grade footings. We pour uprights into the footing and lay block from there. After the foundations are done we pour the cells of the basement walls containing an upright. Dropping in enough rebar to extend to just below the sill plate. We have such grade changes that one side of the basement maybe be exposed except for one or two courses with 10' of backfill on the other end. Slabs inside and stucco exteriors. Just how we roll here on the mountains lol.
 

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How about using SCC next time?

But I would say 3/4" is too much, I accept 1/4" max on the entire perimeter, any more and your making the next guys job harder.
 

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I would probably set the laser and just check the height along the run. Pad out the first lead on each end a bit and squoosh em down where i had to. Its not freakin rocket ship construction.

but if thats how I had to lay my block day in and day out I would be in a straight jacket. He probably just came from another situation where it was up an inch, or more!
 

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I'M with Tenon074 and JBM on this one. While I would not be jumping for joy about 3/4",I would not be sniveling about it either. Like JBM said,pad up the lead a tad and "squish" down the bump a touch. Also/or pull a line from lead to lead,measure along line,where you do not have 8",place blocks upside down dry,snap chalk line on blocks,nip a tad off the bottom and lay them up. Not really a huge deal if it is not a every day occurrence on all your pours.
 

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I guess the problem is the reason that the good (profitable) concrete & masonry contractors only do both strip footings and the walls together for quality, scheduling, coordination and profits.

It also makes embedded vertical rebar much easier and more accurate.

Block is more forgiving because the footing errors and be done over one course or more courses. The poor guy with the forms for a basement or stem wall has to put and set the forms on a snake of a footing.
 

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3/4" deviation in footing elevation in a dirt trench footer sounds pretty darn close to me. I don't see what the big deal is. I've seen too many that I wished were only 3/4" off.

The dirt trench footings are pretty common here as well, but then again most residential here use a concrete stem on top of the footing, not blocks.
 

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Just another thought,here in N.W. Indiana adjacent to S.shore of lake Michigan,we have many areas that are all sand.It is common to do a trench footing in that easy to dig soil However,we set 2" x 4" lumber to have something to strike off with. If possible,we form the 2"x one day and dig to depth early the day of the pour,reason being,if left for long the sand trench will have a tendency to collapse as the sand dries out.


I do like this method for it prevents the need to handle heavy 2"x 12" footing lumber however,it still provides the accuracy of a pre set form to strike to.


As soon as you get 1/2 mile south of lake and the soil is all clay which is a big game changer. We then form the more traditional way.
 

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fjn said:
Just another thought,here in N.W. Indiana adjacent to S.shore of lake Michigan,we have many areas that are all sand.It is common to do a trench footing in that easy to dig soil However,we set 2" x 4" lumber to have something to strike off with. If possible,we form the 2"x one day and dig to depth early the day of the pour,reason being,if left for long the sand trench will have a tendency to collapse as the sand dries out. I do like this method for it prevents the need to handle heavy 2"x 12" footing lumber however,it still provides the accuracy of a pre set form to strike to. As soon as you get 1/2 mile south of lake and the soil is all clay which is a big game changer. We then form the more traditional way.
Why not earth form in clay? We prefer clay soil for trench footings. Sand is hit or miss on whether it will hold the trench or not for us.
 

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Why not earth form in clay? We prefer clay soil for trench footings. Sand is hit or miss on whether it will hold the trench or not for us.



I prefer not to earth form in clay in particularly if it is for a full basement or crawl space for the following reasons. Around here,we place min.6" of well drained compacted base under floor slabs along with min.2" rigid foam insulation.Also,placing footing drain tile on exterior of building it is easier for us to add stone to base of footing and install pipe than dig in pipe by hand.


With most basements here having 9' heights, (to allow 8' finish heights) if the 6" of stone,2" of insulation were added above the footing it would require 10' wall forms or an extra course of block around perimeter of building.


Bottom line,it probably is a area preference.
 
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