How to Build a Column Footing

Back in ancient Greece, the column was the pinnacle of stature. The wealthy adorned their houses in them. They were made out of marble, granite, and other soft rocks. What held these monoliths was the “footing”. Without the footing of the column, the weight would press through the floor and topple the building. Creating a function footing was quite a feat and required precise measurements to distribute the weight. But today, we are going to create a not as functional footing that we can display our art on. The Greeks would use these footings as a medium to depict elaborate battles, as well as stories from their mythologies. We can make our own in a garden or inside our home and depict our own battles!

Required Materials/Tools

  • Wood (about 2×4″ plywood)
  • Water
  • Cement
  • A liquid rubber coating material
  • Some chicken coop wire
  • Some trowels
  • Sheet plastic (heavy)
  • Paint or dye
  • Trowels
  • A large pail
  • Sheet plastic
  • Wire brush

Instructions

  1. Design how you want your footing to look like. Do you want there to be a column on it, or do you want just the footing? How sturdy or functional? These you must decide before we start construction.
  2. Plan where you want the column to go. Mark it out in the ground and make sure it’s about 10″ larger than the base of the footing.
  3. Dig out the hole you wish the column to go.
  4. Now Dig out the area around the column hole that the footing will be placed in.
  5. Make sure the hole is 2-3″ bigger than the bottom of the column and at least 1′ deep.
  6. Use the 2×4″ boards and make a frame for each side of the foot.
  7. Cut the plywood to fit the 2×4 frames and then fasten them to the 2X4’s.
  8. if you purchased a “form” or created one, fasten it to the plywood. Make sure you attach the lip of the form to the top of the plywood.
  9. If you are using a “form” fasten a board to the outside edge of the frame. This is going to keep in the cement
  10. Lay down the panels and spread a quick dry rubber coating over the form and let it set
  11. Mix smooth cement and fill the frame form to just below the edge of the outside walls.
  12. While we let this dry, mix gravel cement and pour about 4″ into the 1′ hole we dug for the column.
  13. Set your column inside and let it dry. It’s important to take the time to make sure the column is strait. The best way to do this is take a plunger (not a bathroom kind but a string with a bolt tied to it) and make sure it’s vertically aligned.
  14. Once the column and the forms are dry, attach the frames into the form you designed. Do not let them fall away from the frame. Attach the forms together.
  15. We are going to cement in the forms. Take gravel cement and fill it about 4″. Then cut chicken wire to fit, and place it inside on top of the cemenet.
  16. Repeat the last step until there is about 3″ of space left. Use the smooth cement to top off the forms.
  17. Allow cement to dry.
  18. When the column footing has set firmly, remove the wood stock and the form. Peal the rubber away. Let it harden some in the air before attempting to alter any of it.
  19. Use a wire brush to remove any loose materials.
  20. If there are any empty gaps, use the smooth cement to fill in the gaps.
  21. When all is set, take a masonry brush and brush everything smooth.
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