I’ve made tons of mistakes in putting in the footings. Here are a few of the lessons I learned.

Spend the money on the forms I heard a person on youtube say that you don’t need forms, just a box above the ground to make that part look nice. Maybe he’s dug a lot more footings than me, but the forms are incredibly helpful. They make sure you dig the size hole that you want, it’s easy to level them in the hole and it keeps the concrete clean from dirt falling in. I should have started off with buying forms.

Clear the entire area at the beginning I found the concrete slab as I was about to dig the first hole. Since I was ready to dig, I just moved the location of the footing to the edge of the slab. I have no idea if that’s where I really wanted it. It just seemed like a good spot and I could dig there. I should have first figured out where I wanted the footings and if the slab was in the way, clear it right away.

Lay out exactly where I wanted the footings Related to the above lesson, I was just sort of eyeballing where I wanted the forms and just tried to work around the sidewalk that was there. It was only after working a few days that I realized that the sidewalk wasn’t really straight. So my footings aren’t in an exact rectangle. I’m going to have to work with this when I put the posts in so that I have a rectangular platform. It would have been easier if I had the footings in a good rectangle.

Use the post-hole digger I did the first footing by digging mainly with a spade. That just made far too large of a hole. I should just use a post-hole digger. Once I got the hang of it, it didn’t take too long.

I’m writing this about a week after I finished and I’m sure there are other lessons that I learned that I can’t remember. I’m just still quite happy that I got the footings done.