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Stake location
1.) Calculate how much you'll need and purchase some 10" concrete form tube.
Refer to these illustrations for how to setup a batter board to level this type of foundation. However, the batter board in this case will be used more for establishing the perimeter and making the foundation square not level. We will use a water level to establish the height of each pier and to make them level. Call your electric or gas company and find out who to call to have your property checked for underground utilities if you don't know already.

2.) When setting up the string add 1" to the width and length so form tubes won't interfere with the string. When setting the tubes, allow a 1/4" clearance between tube and string. That 1/4" along with the 1/4" thickness of the tubing equals 1/2", that plus the 1/2" on the other end will give you 1" Tomorrow when you cut the tube away from the concrete, you'll have the dimensions you desire.

Floor system
3.) Depending on the distance the floor joist will be spanning you may need an additional row of piers down the center, maybe two. If wood beams are to be placed under the floor joists, piers will need to be lowered to allow for the height of those beams. Wood beams can be inline with the joist so long as proper joist connectors are used. Hopefully you have an engineered set of plans to follow. Follow the links provided with this illustration for some insight

Mark hole locations
4.) At each corner measure 5-1/2" from each string and drive a stake. Setup another string being sure this string falls on the 5-1/2" measurement. This is the center of each row of piers. Measure and drive stakes along this string where piers need to be placed. For a 2x8 floor systems using a triple 2x8 beam, every 5 to 6 feet apart. For 2x12 floor systems using a triple 2x12 beam, every 8 to 10 feet apart.

Digging holes
5.) Depending on your local building codes, dig each hole 10" in diameter and an equal amount into undisturbed soil as the top of the tube is out of the soil up to 3' deep.

Reinforcement
6.) Starting at the highest elevation determine how high you want your piers out of the ground. Some areas require 18" minimum under joist and 12" minimum under any wood beams. Drive a wood stake near the hole and put a mark at the desired height.

7.) Setup a water level and cut three pieces of 1/2" rebar 4" longer than what the hole is deep plus the length that the tube extends out of the ground, which would be level with the mark on the stake. For example if your hole is 24" deep and the tube is 24" from the ground to the water level height you will cut each bar 4'4" long.

8.) Drive each 1/2" rebar stake into the bottom of the hole 6" deep holding the bar plumb and about 2" from the sides of the hole. Space remaining two bars evenly around hole. Now the bars should be 2" below the mark on the wood stake.

9.) Cut nine pieces of 1/2" rebar 8" long. Fasten three pieces to the inside and near the top of the three 1/2" rebar stakes with wire ties to form a triangle. Fasten another three pieces half way to the ground and another as far into the hole as you can reach. It may be easier to install the bottom triangle first.

Setting form Tubes
10.) Take a measurement from the ground to the top of your steel. Add 4" and cut a piece of form tube that length. Set tubing over steel and adjust tube till plumb and there is a 1/4" clearance from the string. The cage of rebar should be below the top of the tube.

11.) Drive two wood stakes and brace the tube from two directions so the top can't move. Fasten the tube to the braces by screwing through the tubing near the top and into your bracing. Repeat for all holes.

12.) Once all steel is in and forms are installed plumb and braced, use the water level and mark the outside of each tube in two locations using the mark on the wood stake as your height gauge. Then drive a screw through each mark on the tube. These screws will serve as the concrete height indicators when pouring.

Pouring
13.) This is a fairly slow process if done with a mixer and a shovel. If you can get a truck to deliver, you can run several wheel borrows at a time and use several shovels plus pour most of the piers with the trucks concrete chute. Fill each tube to the height of the screws.




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