When is it advisable to use reinforced concrete footings for the foundation?

by | Dec 6, 2021

concrete footings

A footing is a wide concrete prism that is placed under the pillars of a structure to anchor or hold it to the ground, meaning, it transmits the force with which it is subjected.

A footing can be isolated, continuous, or combined, following the way in which they are going to be used or distributed in a field. Its use is related to the type of terrain and the size of the structure it will support.

When to use reinforced concrete footings for foundations?


When the ground where the structure is built is rocky, stony, granular, or sandy, has gravel or clay, it is advisable to use footings or shallow foundations since they are highly resistant.

However, to place footings as a superficial foundation it is essential to carry out a geotechnical or soil study beforehand to get all the details of the terrain since there is a narrower depth of the support plane than the width of the foundation, roughly between 0.25 and 1 meter, when the normal is between 0.5 and 4 meters.


Learn about the types of footings or superficial foundations and their main characteristics


  • Isolated footings: created to support a pillar or column, they are characterized by being rectangular, circular, or square. They are inexpensive, easy to make, require little excavation, offer high bearing capacity, and are easily adapted to different types of terrain, as well as reinforced in two perpendicular directions to each other.


When to use isolated footings?

When looking to support a single column or pillar on any construction site.


  • Continuous footings: this type of superficial foundation is shallow and flat, it is made up of the footing and the distribution girder. With a flat base built in proportion to the size of the work, its tension is in one direction only. Some of their characteristics include being economical, quick and easy to execute, versatile, they don’t require large excavations and the expense of concrete is minimal.


When to use continuous footings?

When the work is, for example, a wall, where the load that is supported is even and linear or when several columns are placed continuously. That is the main function of a continuous footing.

  • Combined footings: it’s a shallow foundation for when the columns are very close to each other. They are rectangular or trapezoidal, they support more than one pillar or more than one wall.


When to use combined footings?

They are used when the columns, although separated, have a distance between them so small that two isolated footings wouldn’t fit together.

Remember, that we, at Carolina Custom Homes, we’re open to helping you with any project.

Mike Goubran

Mike Goubran

Mike Goubran, owner of Carolina Development and Properties, LLC, and its affiliate, Carolina Custom Homes and Renovations, LLC, has been building homes in the Charlotte area for over 20 years. Mike graduated with a degree in Construction Management from East Carolina University and went on to receive a Master of Business Administration from Queens University in Charlotte. He has been a Licensed General Contractor since 1999 and currently holds this designation in both North and South Carolina. Mike is also a Certified Green Professional and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders. Carolina Custom Homes and Renovations is also an Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau.

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