There are several popular kinds of home foundations but generally speaking, where you live and your prevailing weather determines which kind of foundation is best for your home. The predominant four types are crawlspace, concrete slab, stilts, and basement.
If the water table in your area is too high, a basement isn’t a great idea. But if your home is situated on the one hundred year flood plain, a stilt type structure is a good way to guard your equity and it also allow you to have a carport without losing any other land This article will focus on the slab foundation.
In many ways, a concrete slab foundation is the simplest to build. There is no really extensive digging and that keeps your labor costs low, freeing up building money for other purposes. This is a kind of foundation that is best used in milder climates where the chance of freezing is not common. Freezing may cause your slab to move which can affect the rest of your home.
Preparation of the Slab
The outside limits of your slab are certified with a survey. The perimeter is identified using batter boards at all corners with tight strings stretched between them. The string informs the diggers where to dig.
Your cement slab is actually a concrete pad layered or poured onto the the prepared site’s surface. Integral to the pad is the thing that lends stability to the slab: the concrete beam approximately two to three feet deep which conforms to the slab’s perimeter.
The lengths of rebar give the beam its strength (long steel rods having vertical ridges which serve to afford the concrete much more surface to stick to). Whenever these lengths of rebar touch or lap over, wire secures them. But the beam isn’t poured separately from the slab itself.
The soil between your beams (which are the the main component of the slab) is removed to about a depth of three quart3ers of a foot. A gravel bed is spread onto the graded surface.
Then a plastic sheet, usually 4 mil, is rolled out. This is used as a moisture barrier. Then a cobweb of rebar is put in several inches over your plastic and is supported by the plastic supports.
Since we’re building an concrete slab, the carpenters will build wooden forms around the perimeter of the pour area. These will be “busted off” once the concrete is cured.
Before cement is actually poured, different trades have their items to install. For instance, plumbers may need to install their sewer lines. Then, electricians might need to run their conduit that’s below the grade concrete but is stubbed up out of the top of it. These things must be taken care of prior to pouring cement.
Now, smart carpenters will stand up chunks of all-thread all around the perimeter of the structure. This is to give something to bolt your framing bottom plate onto. If not done, these can be fitted in after the concrete is poured, even though this will call for more labor.
Pouring and Finishing the Concrete
The cement contractor will direct the load to you and. He will either pour it right from the rear of his truck or will utilize a boom truck if the regular one can’t get close.
The cement finishers will come in with their rubber boots to spread the cement out. Once it’s set up sufficiently to work with, they will utilize cement floats to smooth off the surface.
As Soon as the Slab Has Cured
When the slab is cured, your carpenters will comeback and bust the forms, or, take all the wooden forms that they installed to dam in the slab during the pour off. At this point the slab is passed to the framers to start building your house.
photo by The Lebers -CreativeCommons Attribution