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How do you prepare for garden wall footings?

I noted today, on Twitter, a picture posted by a landscaper of a set of stepped footings he'd poured for a garden wall.

What I found rather extraordinary is that these footings had been stepped up using softwood shuttering, of which the lower half is submerged into the concrete. Wooden pegs had also been used as level pegs (I'd estimate that these pegs were 30-50mm square.

There are two potential problems I foresee happening.

1. The wood will swell (or shrink) and cause the footing to crack in the future.

2. The concrete will part at the transition of level changes. Either by rising or falling or each separate plate moving away from the next one, causing cracks to transmit up through the brickwork above.

I also noted the absence (nor mention of) of reinforcing bars. Something I think is a fundamental good practice.

What are your views on best practice?

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  • PRO
    Correct me if i am wrong but for the last 35 years that i know of with site work and the very highly skilled people i have learnt off did it exactly the same way, as shown in the photos even Hanson mention the use of timber pegs for leveling and they are the largest supplier of concrete in the UK http://www.hanson.co.uk/en/concrete/home-use-concrete/easyfound
  • its been done that way for as long as i can rember ,ive been  in groundwork since 1896, whats the problem with wooden pegs you  rake the concrete to level that way been done like it for years, i guess phil you have no experiance in concrete work.the concrete goes under the timber so is one sold lump no cracks no movement, who said you need steel in footings if your on good solid ground there is no need at all ,good practice or not, the wood forming the kickers  is removed once concrete has set so no problems there the wooden stakes cant swell once surrounded with concrtete, as mick gammage says read the hanson book,  perhaps you need to understand concrete practice before you open up a debate 

    • 1896?  You must be old?  

    • mark I bet you have slowed down over the last 120 years

  • PRO


    I've always used metal pegs to create levels.

    • PRO
      A timber peg 38mm x19mm to get a finished height for a concrete foundation is not going to cause any issues what so ever
    • your one of a very few groundwork men to use steel pins, way to costly to buy, 2x2 timber has been used for years with no problems  

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