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Tricky Details by Gordon F. Tully Stepped Footings Don't step the bottom of a footing unless you construct the step in two pours (see diagram). Each type of soil has a natural "angle of repose." When you dig down, any soil inside the angle of repose will loosen or collapse. If a footing needs to step The options are to use taller forms, add blocking to the top of the forms, or increase the thickness of the sill to 6 or 8 inches (see diagram). Using a 6- or 8-inch-deep sill has a minor advantage in houses where the first-floor joists sit on a wood carrying beam. With a standard 2- up, its bottom should rise along the angle