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close this book Self - Help construction of 1-story buildings
close this folder Detailed planning for construction
close this folder Planning foundations
View the document Footings
View the document Foundation walls
View the document Deciding upon the materials and dimensions for foundations
View the document Drawing final foundation plane


All foundations should have a concrete footing. The concrete can be poured directly into the foundation trench, or into wooden forms in the trench. In either case, the bottom of the trench must be level and the sides of the trench or of the wooden forms must be square: that is, they must be exactly vertical, at 90 to the trench bottom.


The depth of the trench in which the footing rests depends on:

• what the foundation wall is made of;

• the stability and strength of the soil;

• the frost line (this only applies in areas where temperatures drop below freezing in winter; the frost line is the maximum depth to which soil freezes locally);

• the unevenness and/or slope of the ground.

The width and thickness of the footing depend on what material the foundation wall is made of.