A column footing functions as a foundation to hold a structure in place and also to beautify the structure that it supports. Previously, a footing or foundation is necessary to evenly distribute the overall weight of the supported structure. It was a feat to accurately measure the foundation. Today, it has evolved beyond functionality to become an aesthetic focal point. The column need not be used to support any major structure, and can even exist on its own, serving decorative purposes. Therefore, before you determine how to build a column footing, determine its primary purpose. Will it be used to support a heavy structure? If so, the measurements must be precise. Is it for decorative and art purposes? If so, then you can be slightly flexible on the measurement.
(1) Design a plan. It is the first step to help you stay on course when building and it serves as a reference point. Gauge the space needed, draw plan to scale, and add motifs to your design if relevant. The foundation can take on many shapes, not necessarily square or round. To prepare the column foundation, dig the marked area at least a foot deep. The hole should also be 2-3 inches wider than the base. This helps to prevent chipping. To form the frame, use a 2 x 4 inch board.
Then, cut and fasten the plywood to it using form. Do use a glove when you cut the boards. Fasten a form on the outside of the frame to keep the cement in. Coat the panels using quick-dry rubber cement and allow some time for it to set. Use smooth cement to seal the frames below the edge and distribute another layer of graveled cement into the hole. After this step, you can place the column footing and allow it to set. Next, remove the frame and air-dry the column. If gaps are present, use smooth cement to seal the holes.
You may also brush it with masonry brush to keep it smooth, or even give it a coat of paint. Otherwise, leave it as it is for a natural look. Lastly, remind yourself that this should be a relatively simple and stress-free project. Feel free to be creative and experiment with different ideas. With these steps on how to build a column footing, you are on your way to build a beautiful structure that will envy your neighbors.