How to Build a Column Footing

To build a column footing you need only the most basic of workmen’s tools. When you are done, you’ll be able to give your garden a new look.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Cement mix (two types: one with gravel and one without it)
  • Paint or stain
  • Plywood (2 x 4 will be all right)
  • Water
  • Wire brush
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure

Create a Design

What do you want it to look like? Get some paper and draw it. It can use classical motifs or something you make up. Also note down the measurements. This will help you gauge the needed space.

The next step to build a column footing is to look for the place. Look in your garden for the most suitable spot. If you are going to make several, take this into consideration also.


are the Site

When you have the location, mark and measure the area. Allow at least eight inches space bigger than the column foundation. The shape is usually a square, but it can be rectangle or any other you can think of.

Once the area has been set, use the shovel and start digging. For stability, the hole should be a foot deep at the very least. Also give 2 to 3 inches allowance for the base. This is for the column foundation, not the general area mentioned earlier. This is crucial when you build a column footing. The reason is it keeps the structure from being chipped.

Create the Frame

Saw the 2 x 4s to construct the frame. Take each wood board and set on the edge. Set some plywood on the frame. These must cover the edges. You can use a form too. If you use that, you’ll need to attach a board 2 inches in width to hold the mixture. When using forms, you’ll need to set part of it on the surface. You also need to spray some quick drying rubber coating.

Add the Cement Mix

When the form dries you can put in the cement mix minus the gravel filler. When you build a column footing, put enough cement to reach the panel’s walls. Now put in the cement with gravel filler. Give it time to dry. Take away the form and it’s done.

Finishing Touches

Use a brush to eliminate some soft spots. Be careful when you use this. If there are any uneven areas, use the brush to fill them in.

If you want the natural look you can leave it as it is. But you can also paint it. Give it the right amount of time to harden.

See to it you do the cement and gravel filler sequence correctly. Wear gloves when you cut the plywood boards. Because the work here involves cement, it’s best to do it in summer.

Finally, don’t get too stressed out when you build a column footing. This is for decoration and it is actually quite simple to make unlike a gazebo. Just be creative. After you are done, you can relax and see how well the structure complements your garden.