Building From The Ground Up – What You Need To Know About Foundations

You don’t need to be an expert to benefit from a bit of research into the building process. If you’re having a ground-up project commencing soon, you’ll want to make sure everything is up to code and ready for a smooth start. There’s nothing more important than building a strong foundation; if this isn’t done right, the whole project is bound to be problematic, perhaps not right away, but maybe years down the line. To avoid this, here is some helpful information to point you in the right direction.

Know the Soil

Building a foundations is not just about digging a hole and filling it with concrete. You will need to have professional engineers or geologists conduct a proper geotechnical investigation on your soil. This needs to be done if you want to ensure that the right earthworks and foundation can be designed for the structures you wish to build. Failing to do so can lead your construction to distress the foundation that you do lay, compromising the entire structure.

Avoiding Simple Mistakes

Even if you’ve seen to the geotechnical investigation, the foundation still needs some overseeing. Sometimes the most knowledgeable contractors and builders can make these common mistakes, so it would do you some good to keep checking in with them that everything is in order. Concrete needs to be cured, for example, and this cannot be rushed. It must be kept damp for at least three days. If your soil is full of organic material or clay, this could lead to cracks in the foundation as temperatures fluctuate. Crushed stone has to be firmly tamped before slab is poured, or cracks will appear. You have to make sure any concrete form filling must not be interrupted either, or a cold joint will form and cause cracks and leaks. You can opt for a non destructive digging that helps for your digging.

Precast Foundation

You do have the option of using precast foundation panels. These are premade concrete pieces that can be lowered onto compacted stone and affixed with polyurethane adhesive. This eliminates any need for footings, forms or form ties, or damp proofing applications. These panels generally come equipped with foam board insulation to prevent moisture migration. Granted, this would cost you at least 10% more than traditional poured foundations, but if you can afford it, the convenience and reliability are unparalleled by its manual counterpart.

Technologies that will soon be easily available include self-leveling concrete made from a high-tech plasticizer, and fabric-formed footings made from high-density polyethylene fabric. Speak to your contractor and builder to find out what options are available to you, especially if you can afford them. Do your research so that you know what you’re getting done, and your construction project should go off well.