I'm warming to the idea of a continuous footing. I can rent a terramite back hoe for about $200 incl delivery...that appeals to me more than renting an auger and digging 8 footers. Both are feasible, I imagine the continuous footer would provide a far more rigid structure. Since I'm raising 8x8 posts up to the 2nd story deck (which will hopefully support a vegetated roof) I like the idea of them beginning at rail height.
So, I envision a continuous wall that rises to just about floor height, and then built up blocks to rail height with posts resting on them. But then, should I be worried about moisture trapped under the porch? And what about the posts next to the house? This has to be free-standing, so I can't get around that.
Another thing I'm confused about, is what's the difference between resting the floor joists on top of the beams and hanging the joists from the beams? Seems to me hanging them is simpler and more efficient...but do you lose strength by doing that?
One more thing
If I secure the post to the block footing, can I also rest my beams on the footing? Could I sandwich the post with 2-2x10's? Or, should I set the beams on the block footings and rest the posts on them? Or would the continuous wall up to floor height then become the beam? And if so, how wide should the block wall be in order to support beams/joists at one level, and posts at another?
And lastly, am I making this more complicated than it has to be? Sorry if so, and thanks for any & all input