How to Install Steel Tube in a Concrete Foundation

What You'll Need
Reinforcing bars
Reinforcing bar ties
Reinforcing bar cutter
Reinforcing bar bender
Small blocks of 2-by-4-inch boards
Pigtail tool
Tape measure

Reinforcing your concrete foundation will add strength to your structure. You can reinforce it by installing steel tubes, commonly known as reinforcing bars, before pouring the concrete for footing. Reinforcing bars will enhance the integrity and life of your concrete foundation. This article explains the process.

Step 1 - Know Your Building Code

Before you begin construction on your project, you will need to know the state and local building code, which determine how much and the size of the reinforcing bar you will need. You can find your state building code online. To obtain your local building code, contact your local building code enforcer for a copy. Compare both the city and local building codes for any variances.

Step 2 - Purchase the Reinforcing Bar 

You must now purchase the bar. Reinforcing bars are sold in long pieces. You will have to modify them to fit your concrete foundation.

Step 3 - Measure Your Concrete Foundation

After you have placed the gravel for your concrete foundation, use the tape measure to determine the length of the pieces of reinforcing bar you will need. 

Step 4 - Cut and Bend the Bar

Use the reinforcing bar cutters to cut the pieces to the determined measurements. Because your foundation may have unique dimensions, use the bar benders to bend the bars to fit your form. 

Step 5 - Connect the Bars

Fasten reinforcing ties with loops on each end by using the pigtail tool and twist the ties around the rods. The ties secure the bars horizontally and vertically within the walls of your foundation. Ensure that the ties are tightly wound for maximum support. Once you have completed this step, the reinforcing bars will resemble a grid-like structure.

Step 6 - Place the Grid

Place the steel "grid" inside the foundation flatwork. Ensure that the bars are approximately 1/2 inch from the inside borders of the flatwork. This position ensures the bars will not be exposed when you complete your footing structure.

Step 7 - Elevate the Reinforcing Bars

Place the wood blocks atop the gravel inside the flatwork frame. Now place the reinforcement grid on top of the blocks to elevate it above the gravel. This will allow the concrete to flow below and above the grid in Step 8.

Step 8 - Pour the Concrete 

Pour the concrete into the flatwork. After you have finished pouring the concrete and leveled it, cover it with plastic to slow the drying process. Proper curing requires 5 to 7 days to give the cement maximum time to hydrate.