Credit: Pete Sucheski
1. Short Span The maximum allowable wall span between footings is 4 feet (for longer spans, consult an engineer).
2. Easy Jump The maximum difference in elevation for residential walls with discontinuous footings is 5 feet.
3. Reinforcing To enable the wall section to function as a beam, install two #4 steel reinforcing rods at the top and bottom (extending 3 feet into the main wall).
Where foundation footings change elevation, forming and pouring a continuous footing is problematic. But the ACI 332 standard referenced in recent codes allows short wall sections to span between discontinuous footings, within certain limits.
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John McManus is an award-winning editorial director for the Residential Construction Group at Hanley Wood in Washington, D.C. In addition to the BUILDER digital, print, and in-person editorial and programming portfolio, the group includes strategic content direction for AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE, APARTMENT FINANCE TODAY, CUSTOM HOME, EcoHome, MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE, and residential architect.
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