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The Ideal Concrete Thickness For a Foundation Wall

Sep 30

If you're building a new home, you need to know the ideal concrete thickness for a foundation wall. The minimum thickness of a foundation wall is seven and a half inches, according to ACI-318. However, the International One-Two-Family Dwelling Code allows for nominal six-inch foundation walls.

This requirement is impractical for short-stem walls, so you should ensure adequate strength in your foundation walls. To achieve this, you must analyze the foundation wall's load-bearing capacity using ACI-318 design equations and use this section of ACI-318's recommendations. The analysis should confirm conventional residential foundation wall practice under typical conditions.

A concrete contractor does this type of work and can assist you with building a foundation if you don't feel confident doing so.

How thick does a concrete foundation need to be?

Residential concrete foundation walls are usually 6-10 inches thick. They have a compressive strength of 2,500 to 3,000 psi. Some building codes call for walls to have higher strength. In determining the necessary concrete thickness, keep in mind that the strength of the walls is also dependent on the reinforcement used. In general, it is recommended to use a rebar of the same size as the walls.

The thickness of the wall must be large enough to withstand the pressure from underground forces and overhead structures. Different building codes have different requirements for foundation walls' thickness, so check with your local building department. The minimum thickness for a wall is eight inches for walls less than eight feet in height. However, foundation walls must be thicker if they are to support heavier siding materials such as wood or metal.

A foundation that supports a garage should be at least four inches thick. In cases where heavy equipment is stored in the garage, the foundation may need to be even thicker. As mentioned, standards for concrete mixture thicknesses differ from one region to another. In cold climates, it is best to add air-entraining agents to prevent freezing and cracking.

Read about the 6 common types of home foundations.

How deep should a foundation go into the ground?

When you are building a home, you should know how deep a foundation wall should be. Generally, foundation walls should be a minimum of 1 meter deep. Moreover, they should be wide enough to project at least 2 inches away from the wall's edge.

A foundation wall's thickness must be determined based on the lateral and axial loads. Then, the wall must be supported by a footing and floor framing. Alternatively, it should be bearing against a slab that rests on the ground. In calculating the required depth, you can use a simplified approach known as the moment magnifier method. Using the moment magnifier method, you can multiply the calculated moment of the wall by the axial load and lateral soil load. Then, you can plot the result on an interaction diagram.

The depth of foundation walls depends on soil conditions and the loads of the superstructure. They can range from 500mm to 2500mm. The soil layer should be at least 300mm thick and the concrete footing should be at least 200mm thick. After that, the plinth level should be level with the damp proof course.

What if concrete is too thin?

When building a foundation wall, it's important to use a concrete slab that is at least 3.5 inches thick. Four inches is a nice round number that makes the slab look good, but it also improves its strength. The wall should be strong enough to hold 3,000 pounds of weight, and thin concrete slabs will easily crack. Plus, they won't have the necessary thickness or tensile strength. Even two-inch slabs will not support any more than a couple of hundred pounds.