stepped footings or follow slope of ground

quincySeptember 19, 2007

I have a slope in the lawn behind the house. Recently I did some landscaping out back and cut in some trenches so I can build a flight of steps leading from the lower level (courtyard) up to the higher level lawn area. On both sides of the steps, I want to build a set of piers at the bottom and short walls at both sides running up to another set of piers a little closer together at the top.

I'm fine with building walls n stuff on the level, pouring strip foundations/footings. I've never built a wall on a slope before so I'm not too sure about how to do this! The run from front to back is about 15-20 feet. The rise is about 4 feet.

Just wondering, should I just pour a footing in matching with the slope? Keep the concrete mix kinda dry so it doesnt slump down and build the wall sloped with the footings??? Or should I go about measuring out shuttering boards and step the footings? I dont plan on building this wall any higher than 20 inches (or 2 courses plus capping) so the loading on it wont be big...? (I have the trenches already dug out, 18inches wide and about 12 inches deep.)



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Step the wall & step the footings.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:27AM
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There are a couple of ways to do the construction. One would be to pour the footer, walk, and steps as a single pour. Then add the walls on top of the first pour. The bottom profile of the footer is often done in stepped fashion. If there is a disadvantage, it's in the custom forming needed for the sides and the step risers. A failure to have the riser form boards firmly secured can lead to a mess. Then more custom forming to match the step jags when doing the walls.

I like a second way where the footer is done on a slope, then the walls are added such that a good part of the footer is to the inside where the steps go. A grade board to one side of the footer is the only forming for the footer. The wall is then built using standard form panels. Last, the walk and steps are added. The forms I use for the wall leave a number of holes in the wall that can be used to bolt on a standard plywood panel with cleats that support the riser form boards. Vertical rebar from the footer to wall and from footer to walk/steps, ties the whole together. Thus the form building is simplified and the forms can be reused many times for all manor of walls and steps. The disadvantage is that you do several more small pours.

I can probably find some photos if you need them.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:46AM
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This is where it gets really boring because we have approximate measurements regarding length and rise and no idea about what the wall is to be made from so no idea even if concrete is an appropriate footing. If there are courses in this work, regular sized pieces require horizontals and perpendiculars therefore stepped foundations not so with dry stone.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 5:21PM
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Boring Huh? Terribly sorry inkognito... Didnt realise perfect measurements were required to answer my slope or step question...? Do you need soil sample results too?
the slope is roughly 20 deg.

You guys answered my question anyway, thanks for that, just wanted to see if a slope foundation would be adequate but stepped seems to be preferred...
Now I just need to figure out how to step the footings, a bit more digging to be done me thinks...

Thanks for the help,


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 4:38AM
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The walls are going to be made using concrete cavity blocks...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 4:42AM
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The blocks will be parallel to the footing. If you want the top of the wall parallel with the slope....., if you want it level ....

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 6:52AM
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I want the top wall to be parallel with the slope, I dont want the top of the wall to be stepped...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:39AM
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