From the Ground Up
A little creativity and old-fashioned elbow grease get the footers going
With the east and north excavations completed, the first order of business was to protect the newly exposed soil from freezing, so some hay went down with poly over it to protect from the nightly temperature drops and occasional snow. After that, Owens Construction's owner Bill Owens built forms for the spread footers, and ordered out a truckload of concrete.
Given that the two excavations were on the far side of the home from the driveway, Owens had to order out a pumper trailer in order to deliver the concrete where it was needed—an amazingly useful invention. Footers went smoothly, with two #5 horizontal reinforcing bars in the 8x16 footer, and verticals every 4 feet. Due to new roof loads, there were three new 18-inch square pads poured in the existing crawl space, plus one 36-inch square pad to catch the main roof column midspan and two 36-inch square pads incorporated into the north footer to carry the two point loads of the front gable wall.
Next came the concrete block, which Owens and his son (and fellow remodeler) Fred Owens laid themselves, capped by a reinforced bond beam. The #4 verticals every 4 feet had cells grouted solid in the walls. The east addition was four courses of block; the north one, eight, as the ground slopes off to the north.
Once the block was complete a thick layer of tar waterproofing was applied to the exterior, along with a layer of poly and rigid foam to both protect the waterproofing and give some thermal protection to the crawl space. It is not the primary crawl space insulation, just a thermal break. Inside there will be a R19 vinyl-faced blanket around all crawl space walls, both new and existing.
With foundations done, enough with the masonry—it’s time to bring in the wood and start framing.