Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How Thick Is a Typical Chimney Footer Poured?

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Footers are an essential component of many masonry chimney installations and provide support for the chimney's extreme weight. A chimney footer that is poured inadequately or lacks strength can lead to major structural problems later on. As a general rule, footers should be poured at a thickness of at least 1 foot. The length and width of the pour depends on the size of the chimney and should extend past the chimney's foot print at least 1 foot in each direction.

Size

A masonry chimney can weigh tens of thousands of pounds, so a properly installed footer is essential to keep it supported. A strong, well-poured footer at least 12 inches thick is necessary for maintained chimney support for most chimneys. Larger, heavier chimneys require thicker footers. Review local building codes if you're not sure of the appropriate size for your situation. Extend the footer 12 to 16 inches further outward in all directions from the footprint of the planned chimney.

Installation

Pouring footers is one of the first steps completed during the construction of a house. In northern U.S. regions or areas prone to frost, it is essential to pour footers below the frost line. Otherwise, temperature changes could cause the soil to shift and the foundations to crack. National building codes recommend that footers be placed 12 inches below the frost line. A bed of gravel should form the base of the footer, and rebar should be placed within the concrete before it dries.

  • A masonry chimney can weigh tens of thousands of pounds, so a properly installed footer is essential to keep it supported.

Safety Guidelines

Avoid constructing footers over tree roots or on organic soil such as peat moss. Soil that is not tightly compacted may not adequately support the footer. The cement should be poured over a bed of gravel for added security. Steel bars with a diameter of 5/8 inch should be installed 3 inches above the footer's base and placed every 16 inches. This ensures the footer remains intact. A chimney that is poorly reinforced may lead to cracking later on. If the chimney's structure fails later, the entire chimney and the footer may need to be torn down and rebuilt.

  • Avoid constructing footers over tree roots or on organic soil such as peat moss.
  • If the chimney's structure fails later, the entire chimney and the footer may need to be torn down and rebuilt.

Other Footers

Concrete footers are necessary to support all the heaviest components of a house. Concrete columns, walls, pilasters and posts all require concrete footers at the house's foundation, under typical circumstances. The installation of footers may be different if you're working with a concrete slab foundation. In that case, footers may be poured at the same time as the foundation itself, or may not be needed at all.

Related Articles

How to Build a Porch Foundation
How to Build a Porch Foundation
How to Use Concrete Blocks for Cattle Guards
How to Use Concrete Blocks for Cattle Guards
What Size Footing Do I Need for Small Brick Retaining Walls?
What Size Footing Do I Need for Small Brick Retaining...
What Types of Bases Should a Gazebo Be Placed On?
What Types of Bases Should a Gazebo Be Placed On?
National Building Codes for a Block Wall
National Building Codes for a Block Wall
Ohio Fireplace Building Codes
Ohio Fireplace Building Codes
Laws on Pools & Fences in New York State
Laws on Pools & Fences in New York State
How to Reinforce Retaining Walls
How to Reinforce Retaining Walls
How to Install a Crushed Stone Driveway
How to Install a Crushed Stone Driveway
How to Dig a Frost Footing for a Garage
How to Dig a Frost Footing for a Garage
How Thick Should a Concrete Walkway Be?
How Thick Should a Concrete Walkway Be?
How to Find the Depth of House Footers
How to Find the Depth of House Footers
Minimum Width of Pool Deck Required
Minimum Width of Pool Deck Required
Town of Brookhaven Fence Requirements for a Swimming Pool
Town of Brookhaven Fence Requirements for a Swimming...
California Building Code Fence Requirements
California Building Code Fence Requirements
Types of Soil Investigation
Types of Soil Investigation
What Causes a Crack in a Sidewalk?
What Causes a Crack in a Sidewalk?
How to Install Log Posts for a Log House Deck
How to Install Log Posts for a Log House Deck
Garden Guides
×