"Normal" foundation support

I have a home that I looked at a few days ago and in the crawlspace where it meets the basement there is no footer (see pics). I know the pics are not the greatest, but they get the point across. My concern is not that there is no poured footer (don’t get me wrong I would much rather see a footer poured here), but that there is hardly any support. There was about 2-3 inches on the back side of the block which was supported by gravel and dirt (mostly dirt) but only 2-3 inches to the outside of the wall. I could literally brush the dirt away and feel the outside of the foundation wall. My question is why wouldn’t anyone call this out? I have never seen anything like this as being “normal” (the word “normal” is coming from another local inspector who says this is just fine and supposedly the other 2-3 others that were called and did not even see it) What are your opinions? You don’t want to hear mine:roll:. If anyone else thinks this is “normal” please tell me and why.

The realtor wanted me to say this was fine, I just told them that they need to have someone else put it in writing as it eing ok, but I would not. I did, of course, recommend it to be further evaluated on the report.



Is the block wall an outside wall, or is it seperating the bsmt and crawlspace?

Hi. Tim.

According to what I read in the IRC 403.1, Where a minimum footing widths is 12 inches, a single wythe of solid or fully grouted 12-inch nominal concrete masonry units is permitted to be used.

Hope this helps.

Marcel :):smiley:

It is the rear exterior wall.

That is if there is a footer. Correct? This had no footer under this section, actually it did not have much of anything underneath it. It almost looked like it was dug or washed out. It was just not even there.

But yes, that does help.

Try this;

R403.1 General.

All exterior walls shall be supported on continuous solid or full grouted masonry or concrete footings, wood foundations, or other approved structural systems which shall be of sufficient design to accommodate all loads according to Section R301 and to transmit the resulting loads to the soil within the limitations as determined from the character of the soil. Footings shall be supported on undisturbed natural soils or engineered fill.

R403.1 Show for a Conventional light-frame construction and for a load-bearing value of soil 1,500- greater or equal to 4,000 psi. 12" wide footing is acceptable.
The exception given in upper post.

This would not be my recommendation.

I would report what I see and have it evaluated by others in this type of engineering.

Standard of Practice in the building trades for foundations and footings is the footing is at least a minimum of 4" wider the the foundation wall, stem wall, or crawl space wall, or whatever you want to call it.

There are minimums and there are building standards.
But who are we to dictate which one should be adhered too? Right.

Well, personally, I would like to think the Standard of Building Practices would rule.


Marcel :):smiley:

is that a concrete beam in the undermined section?
may be ok if it’s a reinforced beam, consult permits/drawings

Barry, it almost looks like it is on ledge. And what is the brown pipe? Any idea.?
Marcel :):smiley:

It’s awful long but maybe the cardboard tube(s) from the roll of plastic (???)

I agree. I did explain and recommend it to be further evaluated. I wasn’t going to take any chances. Always CYA and refer if your not sure if it is correct, right:).

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

Robert is right, it was the tube from the plastic. There was another one on the other side with some still on it.

Could have fooled me, cause I can’t remember when they stopped using cardboard cores for 6mil poly. (especially one that long)
Now comes in a box with no insert tube. Just unfold it.

Marcel :):smiley:

Even if this is a reinforcement beam, shouldn’t it be on top of the footer? Isn’t there a requirement on the distance that it overlaps? This one was only in contact at the corner.

If it’s a beam, it’s probably a grade beam, which spans across unsuitable soils, but usually associated with pile foundations, which is likely not the case. Depending on the loads on the wall, 12 inches of bearing may be perfectly acceptable. The usual rule of thumb for good practice is that the footing width is twice the wall thickness, and its depth is equal to the wall thickness. This is a reflection of the 45-degree “plane of compression” from the bottom of the wall to the bottom of the footing.

Architects who do residential work only need to do the calculations once for normal loading (two stories plus roof) and normal soil bearing values (2,000 psf) to discover that the footing is considerably oversized for that loading. A one-story small structure on a crawl space could well be adequately supported on a 12-inch block wall with the bottom course filled with concrete.

However, one ought not to be able to dig under the wall with one’s bare hands. I would doubt that such soil will support 2,000 psf.