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Engineered Footing and Foundations

Larimer County has adopted a new policy effective September 1, 1999, regarding the requirements for soils report and engineered footings and foundations.

Due to the awareness of the frequency of shrink/swell soils in Larimer County, especially along the Front Range, a soils report will be required on all home sites in area "C". The county is divided into two areas ("B" & "C") by the roofing requirements. Area "B" being in the foothills and mountain areas and area "C" being along the Front Range. New subdivisions already have soil reports done at development and are flagged to whether engineered footings and foundations are required. These new requirements apply to old subdivisions, means and bounds parcels, and 35 acre subdivisions or tracts that are in area "C". If their soils report indicated that foundations can be poured on conventional spread footings, then the county's minimum footings standards may be used and engineered foundation not required. Otherwise, Engineered footings and foundations will be required.

Exceptions: Unenclosed patio covers and porches, decks, one story agriculture pole buildings under 3000 square feet, and accessory unheated detached one story utility buildings less than 24 feet in depth (truss length) and 48 feet wide are exempt from engineered footings and foundations.

The "B" area, foothills & mountain area, at this time will maintain the same requirements as are now in place. If you are in a "B" area that the subdivision requires engineered footing and foundation now, they will still be required. (See below for other engineered foundation requirements.) If building on a steep slope or where shrink/swell soils are indicated in this area, an Engineered Foundation System may be required. Slope profiles are required on plans in area "B" to show the steepness of terrain 50 feet around the structure.

When GIS completes the county's soils map, everything will be required to have a soils report if it is determined to have shrink/swell soils in that area. This map should be completed within approximately two years.

Other Colorado Registered Engineered Foundation Requirements:

  1. All Steel Buildings, throughout the county.
  2. All foundation walls over 9'-0" and all retaining walls 4'-0" and more in height, throughout the county.
  3. All commercial projects, throughout the county.
  4. Utility buildings may be required to have engineered foundation systems depending on the size and type of construction throughout the county.
  5. All unconventional building designs and foundation systems will require a wet-stamped engineered foundation system, throughout the county.
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