Join us! Facebook Twitter Remodeling and Home Design

Foundations first for your house

May 17, 2013

Foundations first for your house

 

Deciding on the foundation for your new home be will one of the most important decisions you will make. They will need to carry the whole weight of your home safely and securely, and therefore you will need to get this right. Unless you have special requirements, you should be using reinforced concrete. You'll also need to choose the type of basement: full basement, crawlspace or slab-on grade.
 
Full basements have footings deep below the frost depth. This space tends to be used as a storage or living space. You should consider installing rigid foam insulation below the slab to make the area more comfortable and reduce problems with damp. A sloped lot or the possibility of a walkout configuration will also provide natural light and ventilation and a spacious feel.
 
Crawlspaces also have footings below the frost line, but only have enough space to crawl. These are a breeding ground for mold and moisture unless they are sealed and insulated properly. The ground should be covered with a polyethylene vapor barrier or a concrete slab. The resulting storage space will be dry and tempered. It is also an ideal location for a heating unit, saving space in the rest of the home.
 
Slab-on-Grade is essentially a grade level concrete slab that provides the subfloor for the home. The footings are shallow and typically a bed of gravel is spread to provide drainage, along with a wire mesh to reduce cracking, as well any required in-slab plumbing or electrics before the pour. If you're living in the North and considering slab-on-grade you will need to make sure it is frost-proofed.
 
The soil is also a key consideration. Commercial builds utilize specialist engineers, however most residential builds use a general foundation that suits the local soil type. This may not be a problem in most cases, but soft clay soil types will be much more likely to settle. In these cases you may wish to get an engineer involved.
 
Foundation cracks can sometimes be a worry, depending on their configuration. Small, hairline vertical cracks are normally OK. However, poor settling of the foundations can create cracks that are wider at the top versus the bottom. This would be a cause for concern. In addition, horizontal cracks could indicate serious problems, such as structural wall failure.
 
 Although building a stable foundation should be simple, proper detailing is important. Hiring an established general contractor that has a good reputation is key. You can also hire an independent inspector to check the foundations once they are complete. It may set you back a couple of hundred dollars, but that is a small price to parey to make sure the foundations are right.
Home About us Commercial Residential Disaster Recovery FAQs Blog Contact us
© Copyright 2017 Dilamco - All Rights Reserved.
Web Design by Adeo