New foundation

I inspected the new poured foundation today for new construction. I noticed under the garage poured foundation wall there is a structure built and a gap on one side. Is this normal, and why would be there? The built structure under the foundation wall is mostly covered with backfill and the footings are not visible on exterior.

In my view, any “foundation inspection” should have been done before the pour and with the benefit of design drawings. All you’re doing after the pour is looking at a concrete surface.

The foundation was already poured when the client contacted me. I can not control that. So what is your thought on the gap? I wonder if that is supposed to be a way for water to escape from under the garage, but it would also be a way for water to get under the garage. I may be way off base.

Michael, it appears that was left out on purpose. Usually, with this type of form system and the fillers used for the step down footing, this gap would have been filled with concrete.
With the form panel layout that I see, and evidence of a piece of wood on the footing, the gap shown was created with a piece of foam in the form system and then removed.
They might have intended this to let water go out or in or whatever.
Not normally done for water. PVC sleeves are cast in the foundation for water release or passage.

The form ties should have been broken off and patched. It appears the was was sprayed with something due to only the fillers that I see with the ties.

Those are alluminum form system from Kansas City, Missouri or similar.

The ties look like this;


You are correct on the ties!! And there is a framing member present, which made me think it was purposeful, and you jogged my memory, about 6 feet to the right on the other side of the wall there were styrofoam forms laying there. They are removing the ties, they just haven’t done all of them yet.

That is a much better picture.

they might not have had step down fillers for their forms at the step downs. Sometimes called jump fillers. They are panels with holes every inch to drop down the panels at the step footings.
In this picture, they added wood to compensate.


Do you have the picture of that?

With all due respect, you should have passed on the inspection IMO. ll you’re doing is looking at a chuck of concrete above grade now. You can’t see the footing depth or width, rebar placement, foundation thickened areas, or moisture barrier. How in heaven’s name can you inspect a foundation without viewing the footing prior to the concrete placement?

Here’s how I inspect slab homes in my AHJ capacity.

Like I said. He called me after the foundation was poured. I advised him of the limitations and he was OK with it. Thanks for the info you provided.

Joe, also I do not have any authority. If he had called earlier and I explained to him the proper way for the inspection to be done, the builder did not have to allow me to inspect it. I am sure you know that the builder will most likely do all he can to keep an inspector who is not an AHJ away from his job.

I think I did him a great service. The walls are 10 inches thick, but some of the exposed footings on the interior are only 2.5 inches, which would make the footing only 15 inches wide, or the footings or foundation walls are off center. Plus he had several cold pour joints, although it may not be a structural issue, they could leak and he is having the basement finished by the builder.

This allows the panel to be dropped in one inch increments.
Not the picture I wanted, but that is the filler that comes in different sizes.

Mike, is that correct?

Rule of thumb, footing is 8" wider than the wall under standard circumtances.
8"-12" thick.

Depends on soil capacities.

Light residential is 8" and Commercial is usually 12".

Great link Joe but I really like this one from the same site!

Joe, may I ask what you inspect on a foundation that has not been poured yet. I am curious. :slight_smile:

My references show that the footing width should be twice the foundation wall width. And most of the footings measure at least 5 inches from the wall in the interior and exterior, which would make the footing 20 inches wide with the 10 wall width.

The footing depth and width and placement of rebar according to design drawings. The placement of a vapor barrier. Thickened areas in the interior part of the slab that will support interior load bearing columns. Presence of footings at porches that have columns. Protection of water and sewer lines as they pass through the foundation wall. A soils compaction test by an engineer if the lot is backfilled.

That is the stndard for residential footings with standard soil conditions.

Joe, I am just trying to learn from your experience.

You are doing these as an AHJ correct?

What if you’re hired by the client as a home inspector and the builder does not want you there? Are they usually agreeable?

Then I think I did him a service finding that some of the footings or walls are off center or not as wide as they should be as compared to the other walls and footings.