Footer problem or not?
I appear to have a problem with my contractor, because he is not preparing my footer per my plans. I need to know if this is a real issue worth disputing, though I can’t figure out any way to fix it if it is.
I’ve designed a closed, conditioned 3 feet high crawl space in Virginia (climate zone 4A). Most of the stem wall is below ground level.
Moisture control is a major concern of mine. This will be a poured concrete wall, with dimple membrane on the outside and drainage pipe to daylight beside the footer (not on top). The foundation is also surrounded by #57 gravel.
My plans show the footer to be dug so the top of the footer is level with the crawl space floor (which is dirt covered with Stego 15 mil sealed plastic). This keeps the foundation drainage pipe several inches below the floor level.
It appears that the contractor plans to pour the footer at floor level, not below it. (It’s the weekend, so I haven’t been able to ask yet.) The footer trench has not been dug, the backhoe is now gone, and the depth of the existing excavation would require this. The excavation can’t be changed back to my original plan, as the required undisturbed subsoil is now gone.
So, I’d like to know if there are any potential issues with increased water leaking into the crawl space because the drainage pipe is now above floor level (can water seep under the footer)?
I am NOT happy that my contractor appears to be changing my plans without consulting me. But I don’t want to force the issue (if I can even figure out how to fix this), if his changes aren’t going to make a substantial difference. But we ARE going to have a discussion about his not following my plans!
Thanks for any suggestions.
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