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It’s All in the Footings

Doug Reid began as a foundation contractor, so frustrated with traditional stake-and-wood footing forms that it drove him to develop and patent a new aluminum, panel-based footing system and form the company Fine Line Footing Forms.

This forward thinking system eliminates the endless stream of wood, rebar, and nail purchases. Aluminum forms won’t bow or break, and they last a long time. Because the forms don’t require staking, jobs close a lot faster. There is no sawing or nailing of wood planks on the job. The forms are much lighter and easier to deal with.

Unlike many other concrete innovations, which tend to improve quality but also increase price, Fine Line Footings Forms’ customers still bid competitively against footings contractors using traditional methods.

This new system has gathered attention across the nation, and contractors are using it in Utah, Arizona, Michigan, and West Virginia. Moreover, the system’s usage has been enlarged as contractors have found other uses for it.

As more contractors start using this type of form, the industry may see more companies that specialize in footings. One of Reid’s customers, Darrell Cottle, owner of TC Concrete & Construction in Lindon UT, does just that. Although he considered becoming a full-service foundation contractor, he says the footings business is so easy to manage and profitable that it doesn’t make sense.

Footings are great because you can pour them in bad weather – enabling crews to stay busy year round. Cottle has found most Utah foundation contractors don’t want to mess with footings and prefer to have TC Concrete handle them.

It is uncertain what is to become of the footing industry, but it seems Reid’s stakeless forms may change the footing industry in the future. In the end, it would mean better margins for the contractor, less trouble for the builder, and better foundations for the homeowner.

Fine Line Footings has been an active National Associate member of the CFA since 2002. A regular exhibitor at the Summer Meeting tradeshows, Doug and his company continue to show their support to the foundation industry and to the Association. Consider stopping by his booth at the Summer Meeting’s tradeshow at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells, July 18-22, 2006.

Source: Majority of the information for this article was reprinted from “Seeing Green in the Footing Business” in Permanent Buildings And Foundations, January 2005

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us