How to Dig a Footing for a Front Stoop

While John dug the footing, I perused Pinterest for front stoop designs using bluestone and brick. (I’ll post the photo later.)

Once the east and west trench footings were dug out to 3 feet, John had to determine how far out to make the trench on the south side (where the purple line is in the photo).

John called Ron, the mason, and he came over to take a look. The cement block will end close to where the purple line is sprayed.

Once again, John’s Gorilla ladder bench came in handy. He uses it for every project in the house. It’s also great for pick-up truck owners to use for stepping up onto the tailgate.

The south side trench footing is now about 3 feet deep.

By using the recycling buckets, the worksite remains clean. Otherwise, a big pile of dirt would be on the lawn.

After the trench footings are filled with the recycled pieces of concrete and poured concrete, the mason will put 2 or 3 courses of cement block on the footing.

The pick axe, a couple of shale bars and spade shovel finished the job.

The shale bars (two different sizes) helped 3 feet down where the soil is like clay.

If any of you want to save on a gym membership, just start digging a ditch–it will give you a complete workout.

Be careful using a pick axe because it can easily bounce off a rock and head right for your foot or ankle.

It’s also difficult using a pick axe in tight quarters.

Obviously, the best route to take is to hire someone to do this type of manual labor/job. It’s not easy and it’s time consuming.

While John was digging, he hit a pipe. It turned out that it was the conduit which leads to the basement block wall that the previous owner, Bill, had installed. He ran exterior wire to the front oak tree for power.

The conduit leads 18 feet south toward the road where the wire remains at the front lawn even though the tree was taken down.

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2 thoughts on “How to Dig a Footing for a Front Stoop

  1. My Dad had to dig a trench from the addition out through the front yard to connect the new bathroom sewer line to the old.

    Here we have a layer of clay about 1-2 feet down.

    He used a jackhammer to break it up.

    I’ve done some trenching but even in my youngest, healthiest days I had to hire out for the really tough stuff, like fence footings. Here code put them at 4.5 feet down. I’m only 5 feet tall so no way I was digging those. I hired guys and rented a post hold digger. Two man job but they were all done in a day.

    If there is still potential for power through that line through the conduit, you could have landscape lighting or a fountain or something in the front.

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