Playlist - Building Stem Wall Foundations - Part II

Workers finished up the steelwork before scattering the heavy Plyform panels, with one continuous row of horizontal rebar about 3 inches up and another row at the top of the verticals.

Reinforcement schedules for tall walls typically call for horizontal rebar on 12-inch to 18-inch centers depending on site conditions and structural requirements.

To build 4-foot or 6-foot-tall foundation walls, the author stacks his forms horizontally on snap ties laid across each lower course. Aligning the stacked panel joints vertically speeds installation and makes it easier to strip the forms later.

The author forms 8-foot-tall walls vertically, placing snap ties in slots located 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7 feet along the panel edges.

A reference line snapped within the top inch or two of the forms indicates the elevation of the top of the wall. The author tacks a 3d finish nail every 12 to 16 inches along the snapped lines to make them easier to find during the pour.

Even though the mix from the line pump is smooth and easy to work with, the author’s crew still spends a few moments flattening out the concrete and patting down stray aggregate while installing hardware.

The author prefers Simpson MASA mudsill anchors over traditional anchor bolts for fastening the framing to the foundation. In the rush of the pour, this shear brace template was installed upside-down, so the author will just pop it out after the concrete has set up.

Workers scrape the panels clean as they strip the forms from the foundation. Later, they’ll oil the panels before storing them.

Before installing the mudsills, the author uses a scraper to smooth out any trowelling irregularities on the top of the stem walls.

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