Digging the Footing on Sunday

It was a 12-hour day for John yesterday. He arrived at the house at 7am and continued scraping the ground. He then began digging the footing until he got to a depth of 3 feet. A couple of areas needed some shoveling which was the part that wasn’t fun, especially in 90 degree heat with high humidity.


As John dug deeper, there was a lot of clay and shale. One of my followers suggested that I look for colonial coins, I did, but didn’t discover any.


When John woke up this morning, he said, “Now I know why people don’t dig footings.” It was worth renting the Bobcat and John had fun using it, but the footing phase was a little bit technical, and with the compacted clay and rock, the job was actually physically draining–especially after 12 hours behind the Bobcat controls.


The footing needs to be level; by deepening the trench, it provides an undisturbed surface for the foundation.


John was able to accomplish digging the footing because it’s relatively small (18×18), it’s not a footing for an entire house. If it was anything bigger, he would have hired someone. He has a couple of books where he referred to the chapters on footings, he called my cousin, who has an excavating company and asked her for some tips, and his friend, who has worked in construction was a big help too. With all of the above, John was able to pull this job off.


Renting the Bobcat was well worth it for the experience, and we now also know that John can grade the yard himself rather than hiring someone to do it.


Now we have two big piles of dirt.


At this point, I can only deal with this project by taking it one day at a time. I’m always aware of time and how it flies by, but even with all of our prepping, preparing and making a concerted effort with hiring framers to start right about now, they can’t.

In the spring, when I wanted to get the framers lined up to begin framing in late July, or at the latest in August, so many of them didn’t get back to us which resulted in time passing. It’s the nature of the business and it’s frustrating. Just to get the initial call returned can take three weeks and then we were lucky if they would even show up to take a look at the job. Afterwards, we were lucky if we even heard back from them with a proposal–that took weeks as well. Most of them said they’re “busy,” “on vacation,” or “I’m going away.”

Autumn is just around the corner and we’re waiting on a framing contract. It hasn’t arrived yet.

The next step with the footing is adding Rebar for the concrete pour. John will call today for the first inspection, which will hopefully be tomorrow. He’ll then have the concrete poured which will follow with a second inspection.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *