Excavation and Footings

Excavating one of the foundation walls

Excavating one of the foundation walls

The excavation and footings were completed on September 21st 2009. As you can see in the pics below it was a beautiful day – Fall in Northern Wisconsin is one of my favorite seasons.

Here is the back wall trench just getting started.  The excavator is actually my next door (1/2 mile away) neighbor. I’ve got to say it’s nice to have a neighbor with earth moving equipment.


Backfilling the Sonotube forms just a bit for support.

The back wall trench with the footing forms. The trenches are about 6 feet deep and well below the frost line for this area. The footings are 6 inches high with 8 foot walls on top. The walls will stick out about 2 1/2 feet above the ground when it is all done.

A closeup of the Sonotube forms.

Getting ready for the footer forms for the front wall.

Pouring the front wall footer from a ready mix concrete truck.

Another view of the front wall footing being poured. My son taking a day off from school to come and watch.

Yet another front wall footing shot.

The ready mix truck finished and cleaning up.

The leftover carnage from the day.

5 thoughts on “Excavation and Footings

  1. Pedro Francisco Rossetto

    hey, Steve,

    is it made 6 feet deep to avoid the frosting line? not for structural reasons, right? – and since i´m considering construction with containers in a tropical country (Brazil), no thinking of such deep trenches – is that right?


    1. Steve Post author


      The ONLY reason they are as deep as they are is to resist frost heave. The frost depth is around 5 feet were my cabin is. You will save a lot of money and/or effort by not having to build a foundation such as mine. I’m not familiar with foundations in a tropical climate, but I would think you could just use some appropriately sized concrete blocks on the ground. Depending on your soils you might need to lay down some gravel first. I would recommend talking to someone who builds foundations in your area.


  2. Nate

    how much concrete did you ed up using? We are going to be doing 3 40ft containers with wall removal, but wondered if piers would be enough? We have to dig about 6-7 feet


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