The Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Solid Concrete Foundation
Posted on: 23 November 2022Share
Most people take the foundation of their home for granted. They may not realize that it keeps the house standing tall and strong, supporting everything above it. That's why it's important to ensure that your foundation is built correctly, with a sturdy concrete base.
Here's a step-by-step guide a contractor follows when building a concrete foundation.
Determine the Soil Type and Condition
The type and condition of the soil will determine how deep your foundation needs to be. Soil composition, water saturation levels, and the amount of shrinkage affect how well the foundation holds up in the long run.
The contractor must take several samples from different areas, testing them for their consistency, moisture content, and other factors to decide what is the best way forward for this particular project. This can take some time, but it is essential if you want to build a strong foundation.
Excavate the Area
Once the soil type and condition have been established, the contractor can begin to excavate the area. This means digging out a large enough space for the foundation and ensuring it is level. A level surface ensures the concrete foundation can firmly support the structure above it.
The excavation process should also include digging a trench around the perimeter of the foundation. This is where forms will be placed, and concrete can later be poured and poured in.
A laser or transit system will be used to check for consistency throughout so that when poured, the concrete sits evenly in the finished product. It also ensures that the concrete will settle in an even manner once it has been poured.
Establish the Forms and Rebar
The next step is to establish forms, which are essentially wooden frames that will hold the concrete in place. They need to be level and securely fastened together so that the concrete will not leak through them when it is poured.
Rebar is then placed within the forms. These thick metal rods add increased strength to the foundation once cured. They also prevent cracks from appearing on the surface of the concrete.
The forms need to be checked regularly to ensure they remain level and secure during the curing process. At this point, the contractor will also install any drainage systems or other necessary features.
Prepare and Pour Concrete
Once all forms, rebar, and other features have been installed, the concrete can be poured. This is a messy process and needs to be done carefully and thoroughly. The contractor will mix the concrete with water and then pour it into the forms, ensuring that it covers all areas evenly.
The contractor may need to vibrate the concrete as it is poured to remove any air pockets or voids. This will help the concrete cure evenly and result in a strong, durable foundation.
After the concrete has been poured, it will need to remain undisturbed while it cures. The contractor may install plastic sheeting over the top of the forms to keep moisture contained within.
This can take anywhere from several days to weeks, depending on the weather and other factors. The contractor will then remove all forms and rebar, revealing a strong concrete foundation that is ready to support your new home or building.