Q: I am being asked to remove a footing that I placed because it is not level. What is the allowable tolerance?

A: Acceptable tolerances often are job specific. Different building construction methods require different levels of exactness in footing placement. To find the acceptable tolerances, refer to your contract documents or local building code. Any stringent tolerances should be included in the project specifications. These tolerances, however, should meet or exceed ACI 117, "Standard Specifications for Tolerances for Concrete Construction and Materials," which requires a 5 1/2 inch tolerance for the surface of footings supporting masonry and a +1/2 inch to -2 inches tolerance for other footing surfaces.