Building your own home is an exciting opportunity to bring your vision to life. However, you’ll need to follow the proper steps to ensure your construction is durable. Of all the parts of your home, the foundation is the most essential for structural integrity and longevity, so you’ll want to be careful at every stage from planning and excavation to sealing. Here are the answers to four questions that homeowners often have on this topic.
Top 4 FAQ on Home Foundations
What are footings?
Footings are the enlarged bases of foundation walls. To create them, contractors perform excavation and fill the resulting trenches with concrete and rebar, or steel bars embedded in the concrete to strengthen it. The widened bottoms are designed to spread the load evenly, bolster the foundation, and avoid settling — that is, keep the foundation from moving, shrinking, or shifting in changing soil conditions. They also help anchor the foundation, protecting it from lifting in strong storm winds or other natural disasters.
How does soil impact foundations?
The type of soil matters quite a bit. It must have a high enough bearing capacity to support your house. Soil ranges from silt and wet, soft clay at 2,000 pounds per square foot (PSF) to rock, which has about 6,000 pounds. Your contractor will need to perform a soil analysis to determine what type you have.
How do grades work?
When a foundation grade is properly established, the land slopes away from the home and uses gravity to direct rainwater and snowmelt away from the foundation. A proper grade is the key to preventing excess water from compromising the foundation's integrity. Best practices dictate a minimum drop of 6 inches for the first 10 feet.
What kind of foundation should I get?
Full basement foundations are most common and offer storage opportunities. Crawl spaces, in which the first floor is elevated just a few feet off the ground, are less expensive to install, but are prone to dampness and so must have proper drainage, ventilation, and vapor barriers installed. Slab-on-grade foundations mean that your house will be built on a concrete rectangle flat on the ground, with footing buried in the earth beneath for support. This foundation type is attractive because it’s less prone to moisture, mold, and doesn’t require stairs; however, it’s susceptible to cracking and can be cold even if insulated. Ask your contractor about what’s best for your needs.
If you need excavation services for your home building project, turn to C & W Trucking in Bayfield, WI. This locally owned trucking company is fully insured. Since 1968, they’ve stocked only the finest materials and maintain a fleet of heavy-duty equipment for excavations. Their drivers are experienced, well-trained, and attentive. Call (715) 779-5628 to obtain a free estimate for an upcoming project. Visit them online to learn more.