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If you are considering adding a screened-in porch to your home you might want to do as one home owner did to save time, money and labor, and use pillngs rather than a conventional footing and foundation. The pilings were 8-ft. lengths of railroad ties that measure 6 x 8 in. If ties are not available 6 x 6 timbers could be used, but the lumber should be pressure-treated. Lengths of the piling will vary, of course, depending on the slope of the land, but at least 3 ft. of each piling should be below ground level.
Source: Workbench Magazine March-April 1967