Terra cotta piers

Need some advice. I inspected a home with terra cotta foundation walls and terra cotta piers. This is my first experience with terra cotta piers. How are they different from masonry or brick piers? My research shows that they’re more brittle, but I couldn’t find anything in regards to pier construction. I also threw in a photo of one of the walls. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. See photos.


To be conservative I would say 1200 psi to 1500 psi.

Much lower than masonry block which starts around 1900 psi, if I recall correctly. Of course, I could be way off.

One way they are the Same as masonry block piers is that the blocks must be stacked with their hollow cells aligned vertically. Which these are not.

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Thanks Randy and Chris, with your input I was able to have enough reasoning to direct my client to a structural engineer. I appreciate your input.

Good call Anthony as that material is very brittle.