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  • Footings and Stemwalls

    Now that the market is slower, we are going to be doing more in house than we've done in the past 5 or so years. Back when I was just a laborer and clean up guy, the framers did the foundations, flatwork (slabs, patios, walkways and driveways) framing and siding and often the trim.

    In the early 90's when the market got slow, we went from a few crews to two guys and me after school. So I learned how to do foundations.

    The last time I really did any foundation work was 03 and we did a total of about 10 in a couple of months. Only one since then. Always with my mentor Dave.

    We have to set up walls tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it. But I wanted to benefit from the experience on the forums.

    The way we typically set up footings is with 1x6 boards, lifted and nailed to stakes level so we have a minimum 8" of depth. What we used to do is setup, get inspection, pour (place), clean up a bit, then snap lines and set spreader cleans with a 1 1/2" nail holding the cleat to the concrete.

    Next day, tie bar, set forms, get inspection, pour in the late afternoon. Next day strip the outside, excavator grades the lot. There were times when we started framing the next day.

    Smaller houses.

    I'm comfortable forming walls. The footing we set up last June to extend a permit wasn't poured by us. It was poured by the foundation sub who did the foundation down the street for a custom we are working on.

    We use the 1" x 2'x8' MDO forms. My question is, is it a waste of time to shoot a nail into some of the clips to keep the forms on the snapped line?

    Also, I'd love to hear from everyone how they form up footings and stemwalls.
    www.Pioneerbuildersonline.com
    http://instagram.com/awesomeframers
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Raftercutter

  • #2
    Re: Footings and Stemwalls

    Tim

    I hope you take plenty of pictures
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    EDI Seminar Instructor
    Level one thermographer (Snell)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

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    • #3
      Re: Footings and Stemwalls

      Tim, we form the footing and stemwall all together and pour it once. I have some good photos on my other machine, and I'll post a few.
      Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
      Website - Facebook

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      • #4
        Re: Footings and Stemwalls

        I would vote for a mono pour. I would also be interested in seeing and hearing about your favorite methods.

        Steve.

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        • #5
          Re: Footings and Stemwalls

          We've only done mono pours when its a smaller job. But I'd like to see the pictures. I'll try and get some today too.
          www.Pioneerbuildersonline.com
          http://instagram.com/awesomeframers
          http://www.youtube.com/user/Raftercutter

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          • #6
            Re: Footings and Stemwalls

            Tim

            I am used to the south TX way of slab on grade. Since moving to WA I have been working with Gen Nail Bender, and he has been trying out the Certainteed Form-a-drain, when setting up his footings. He also is working with ICF...its a very cool form / insulation concept.

            Slabs, monolithic pour. Basements...1. Footings, 2. Walls, 3. Floor

            Mike
            Last edited by wallmaxx; 02-01-2008, 10:32 AM.
            Mike Morrison
            WallMaxx, Inc.

            Think it. Draw it. Build it.

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            • #7
              Re: Footings and Stemwalls

              Tim, here's the general idea of what we do. Form footing, toss in rebar, add 1x4 cleats and stake everything in place. Then, snap layout on the 1x4s, attach form panel spreaders (from Award Metals I think), stack outside panels, tie rebar, stack inside panels.
              Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
              Website - Facebook

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              • #8
                Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                David, are the 1x4 cleats trapped in the wall and abandoned? If not, when and how do you remove them?

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                • #9
                  Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                  Those are in there for good. I put an addition on a 20-year-old house last year and we dug up the foundation on a couple of sides. There was mostly well-drained gravel against the footing. The 1x4 was in perfect shape. In you backfill with clay soil I wouldn't be as optimistic, but we never do.
                  Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
                  Website - Facebook

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                  • #10
                    Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                    We've always poured the footings with the walls, even 8' high walls. At first we used 1x8s for the forms with 2x4 walers, then reused the 1x8 as subfloor, when plywood arrived on the scene for subfloors we started using 2xs for our forms reusing them as floor joists. Then the inspectors started giving us a bad time about reusing the lumber so I bought plywood reusable forms from a retired contractor, eventually building my own and oiling them between uses. About 1974 our codes and engineers went to all pier foundations and all we formed were grade beams on top of the piers, since then we have been pouring the piers first with the steel cages sticking up, and then forming 18" plywood forms with walers on top of them later.

                    In the old days we tied them together with #9 wire using wire twisters with knockout wood spreaders, then snapties came on the scene and we no-longer twisted wires.
                    You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

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                    • #11
                      Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                      We use the Symons forms and ICF. On both we use 2x10 lumber to form the footing, along with 1x3 spreaders and perforated strapping to hold the bottom in, although we now are just backfilling the form to hold it in. After the square and level, we pour and strip the footing, pretty much the long way of doing things. They now have these spreaders that hold the footing form in, here is a shot of one attached along with some prefab keyways. One thing, we don't always level the top of footing, we snap a line on the elevation and trowel to that, it way easier than trying to lower the form if it is high.

                      We nail the outside form on the line, erected the outside shell, insert bucks and rebar, erect the inside shell, slip the ties and the hammer the dogs into the ties. Then clamp 2x4's to the top, align the forms with turnbuckles and stakes. We also insert brackets and lay some plank to walk on during the pour.

                      I would say you have to nail to the footer, can't see how you couldn't although there are probably a number of guys who don't, including my father in law, my mentor who taught me. I think I'd be afraid of form float, although that must be due to my ICF background vs. him doing it for 30 years. If you set the footing back in June, you might have a tough time nailing it. But I wouldn't skip the detail, when the forms move during the placement you always crap yourself pissed that you skipped the odd brace because you though you had balls.
                      "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                      Sir Frances Drake

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                      • #12
                        Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                        Originally posted by Ted S. View Post
                        .

                        But I wouldn't skip the detail, when the forms move during the placement you always crap yourself pissed that you skipped the odd brace because you though you had balls.
                        learned that lesson the hard way.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                          I can't comment on stemwalls since we rarely see them--all basements here, and mostly ICF's. I have used 2x10's for footing forms. We use steel or wood stakes and 2x4 spreaders. We laser the hole and find the high spot and that's our minimum thickness. A detail we are required to use is a 3" PVC weeper every 6 feet or so to allow connection between the interior and exterior drain tile. We are in heavy clay, so once the excavator has the hole, we jump in and form and pour footings ASAP. If you get rain before the footings are in, you have a real mess. So I don't think anyone around here pours footings and walls in one fell swoop.

                          The next chance I get I am going to use form-a-drain. I watched a sub we had use them. They laid them out, placed their reinforcement, and made spreaders out of pieces of the form-a-drain cut so it sort of had ears that wrapped over the top of the footing forms. this also provided the weepers. Right before the pour, he went around and set them to grade with 1x3 stakes and drywall screws. No need to strip forms, and it provides a much more durable drain tile.

                          The last job was scribed to bedrock. We hammer drilled in chunks of rebar and set 2x8's on them using fence staples. Then we scribed plywod to the rock. That was a chore.

                          What do you guys do about vertical reinforcement for the walls--pre place, wet set, or drill in later? We drill ours in the next day. Our inspectors are fine with it since it really is there for shear, this not being a seismic zone.

                          We always have to wait for backfill. In cold weather, it is a minumum of 7 days curing before backfill. Years ago, we always capped the floor before backfill, and then went inside and braced, but these days we backfill before both the basement floor and the floor deck. This allows the excavator access to prep the slab. Makes pouring the floor a bit easier.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                            Got some pictures. We could have finished today, but I shorted us a lot on snap ties and shoes.

                            Actually went really well. My back is a little tired, but Matt and I had a lot of fun.

                            http://picasaweb.google.com/TimothyUhler/MountainView
                            www.Pioneerbuildersonline.com
                            http://instagram.com/awesomeframers
                            http://www.youtube.com/user/Raftercutter

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                            • #15
                              Re: Footings and Stemwalls

                              Tim, did you pump or chute those footings? What about the walls?
                              Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
                              Website - Facebook

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