By: DTM Skips

Guide To Laying Concrete Footing

The relevance of laying a solid concrete footing during a building project cannot be undermined. They are essential for strong concrete foundations because of their provision of support to the entire structure. They are so important that they can cause your building to become unbalanced in the end if not properly managed. Hence, you need to know the exact steps to follow in properly laying your concrete footings. Dive in:

1.Choosing A Site

The first step to laying a concrete foundation is picking a suitable location. Here, you make sure to examine what condition the soil is in. You may want to leave this critical exercise to your builder or designer, as there are times where the soil conditions may require individual footings. An instance is when the soil lacks excellent strength or has some properties that may cause you issues in the future. Also, you need to have your whole lot investigated to locate and determine the exact corners of your foundation so that it can be structured entirely.

2. Start Digging

After choosing the adequate site for your concrete footings, it is necessary to start the digging process. The excavation contractor carries out this exercise on your behalf, as he is in the best position to know how wide and deep to dig. Such an expert is required in also understanding the sufficient concrete mix ratio for your footings and the best materials to use in retaining your wall footing.

Retaining wall footings help provide means to manage a seemingly difficult slope and keep some amount of vegetation and soil while lending interest to the landscape. Thoroughly planning and ably performing a wall construction helps ensure the stability of the retaining wall. This stability is achieved by preparing a stable footing.

Recognising how deep footings should be for a retaining wall is vital to how sturdy the concrete foundation will be. Since retaining walls are used to stop dirt or soil in an area, you need to get the right concrete mix ratio for your footings. This will make your foundation long lasting and durable.

3. Mixing Your Concrete

The concrete for your foundation should be mixed appropriately on a hard surface like an existing slab or with the use of a concrete mixer. The materials needed here are a measured amount of sand, cement in fair proportion and an aggregate coarse. All items should be mixed thoroughly until you achieve a consistent colour. Then add your water in measured quantity, sprinkling it over the mixture slowly. The result will be a consistent texture and colour of all ingredients.

The water added should not be too much; otherwise, the mix may become too sloppy. Instead, the quantity of water should be relatively half the proportion of the combined cement. Failure to do this may cause your concrete footing to turn out weak. The concrete mix should follow a volume guide of a part of cement, two parts of sand, and four parts of coarse aggregate.

4. Install The Footing

You should bear in mind that in creating your concrete foundation, you may need to pour the concrete into forms of wood or trenches directly. You should note that when pouring the concrete, there are also techniques involved so a highly-skilled contractor would be suitable to perform this task, especially when the concrete footing will be done on a large-scale.
Installing the concrete footing into the trench must be done within thirty minutes of mixing.

With the use of a shovel, the concrete should be worked into awkward corners and should be placed to slightly overfill the formwork. Firmly draw the float across the surface of the concrete and take the wooden float, compacting the concrete.

The excess concrete can be spread by using a straight edge in a sawing motion, and thereby concrete is levelled off the pegs. You can also smoothen your concrete surface with a wooden float to attain a consistent mortar finish. This ensures the proper compactness of the concrete. Furthermore, cover the footing with plastic and leave it to cure for seven days before the brickwork process should be commenced.

5. Sealing The Footing

The next step to follow is sealing your footings for their protection from moisture. A top-quality sealer is needed for this purpose. Your foundation walls should be treated to an extra round of sealer for keeping the moisture out. The dimensions of the footing are mostly dependent on the wall size and should be as vertically thick as the planned width of the wall. Once the concrete foundation is finished, acrylic-based sealers should be applied.

To determine how deep footings should be for your retaining wall, the front of your wall footing should be located at the start of your layout. With the use of paint or string line, the entire length should be marked. For the laying out of curved walls, a garden hose is a perfect tool.

Excavate the area by eliminating all organic materials and surface vegetation, as these cannot be useful as backfill materials. If there is a need for reinforcements, the retaining wall should be excavated in accommodating the geogrid’s design length.

You should regularly refer to the approved plans for the exact length of the retaining wall footing.

Beginning from the lowest area, the base trench should be dug about 600mm wide along the wall length while the trench depth should be in 150mm. An additional 25mm should be measured for every 300mm height of the wall, for the amount of block that is required.

Concrete footings at the base trench bottom must be stable and firm. Where the soils constitute wet soils or heavy clay, or you have previously excavated the areas, this material should be removed and replaced with granular materials. It should be compacted in about 200mm or less. And for retaining walls below 4 feet, that is, 1.2m, the base trench should be dug 460mm wide and 100mm deep, accounting for the proportion of buried block required.


These guidelines above should be followed religiously in laying your concrete footing, in achieving a solid foundation that will serve you for decades to come. If you are looking for a reliable concrete in Essex contact us today for more details.

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