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Raising a footer


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By Marty in Boston, MA on 8/18/2008


The excavator is just about done excavating the foundation footing for my home.  The excavator dug a straight line in the rear of my house to accommodate a walkout basement.  The footing in the rear area of the home was dug 4’ deep to account for the frost line.  Through no fault of his own, the excavator continued this line under where the attached garage is going to be located.   So in other words, instead of stepping up in this area, the footing continues at the same level as the rear of the home.  The length of the garage is 24’-6”.  This is extremely frustrating to me because the footer is now located 6 feet deeper than it had to be (4’ plus the 2’ it should have stepped up).  Needless to say there was some miscommunication.

 

So the question is, how do I make this right?  I know we can’t put the dirt back because the footing must be built on virgin soil.  Even if the soil was compacted, I wouldn’t feel comfortable.  I guess we can add crushed stone, but if I do, is there a limit to how much I can add?  Is 2’ to 3’ too much?  What size stone would I had?  I would obviously compact the stone before pouring.

 

Or, is the safest bet to just continue the garage footing at the same depth as the rear of the home (even though is will be backfilled 10’)?  In other words, don’t try to raise the garage footing by adding stone?  What really aggravates me is the fact that by continuing with the footer and not stepping it up, I added approximately 10.5 cubic yards of concrete.  At $100/yrd, this was a pretty expensive misunderstanding!


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By Tom in Stroudsburg, PA on 8/20/2008


Marty, don't waste your time with the stone. It's not much better than soil if it's not compacted properly.  My calculations on concrete costs fall at three yards:

assuming a 2' makeup,
two walls at 25' each, one at 30'

= 160 cu/ft x 6" wall

= 80 cu/ft /27 = 3 yards
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By Marty in Boston, MA on 8/21/2008


Thanks, Tom.

 

I am definitely going with concrete.  The good thing is that only the backside of the garage needs to be made up (the side directly opposite was not touched and the side where the vehicles will enter will be stepped up.  The side that abuts the home is also OK).  Unfortunately the footing is 24” wide, so the 2’ makeup is 3.5 yards.  The mistake in total is 11 yards – about $1,100.


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