piers at the foundation level

Insufficient Footings

Insufficient Footings

Most residential footings are INSUFFICIENT IN SIZE & STRENGTH to support the weight-bearing load of a house! King Piers LLC to the RESCUE!


It’s hard sometimes to position footings in the trench, so contractors often see walls that are not in the center of the footing. The foundation wall has to be located correctly to support the house, of course, so it has been placed off-center on the footing.

In good bearing soil, I wouldn’t get too concerned about this foundation for the loads involved in a simple wood-frame house. The full width of the footing isn’t needed to support the loads anyway; you could pour the wall right on the edge of the footing and still have enough support. However, if you start to go over the edge and have the wall sticking out past the footing on the side or the end, then you’re starting to apply a rotational force that the footing is not designed to handle. In that case, you should think about getting an engineer involved. (If your soils are relatively soft, the risk is even greater.)

As an engineer, I’ve been asked to recommend solutions in cases where the footing has been placed so that the wall, when cast, would actually extend beyond it. My suggestions are different in strong soils than in average or below-average soils. In soils with a bearing capacity greater than about 4,000 psf, I suggest excavating next to the footing and under it, and placing compacted large gravel into space. That should be adequate to support thewall. If there’s a keyway in the wall, fill it in, and if there’s steel projecting from the footing, cut it off. Drill holes and epoxy steel into the footing to tie the wall to the footing, and then form and cast the wall.

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