"Foundations support the whole house and their failure will inevitably lead to cracking of your house"
In our article Ground compaction making solid foundations for your home we discussed the importance of building on solid ground. Having uncompacted ground under your house will result in damage to your new home.
Foundations support the whole house and their failure will inevitably lead to cracking of your house, which could eventually lead to leaks and even structural failure making your home uninhabitable. Repairing poor foundations is costly so it’s advisable to get an engineer to design the foundations and then to ensure that the foundations are constructed properly.
"The essential part of the foundation is that it distributes the weight of the house to the ground so that the ground is able to support the load"
Foundations provide a level base for the structure of your house, they support the weight of the house, and in some instances they anchor the house and prevent it from being blown away in a storm. The foundations could be as simple as forming a concrete slab under the house, they could involve concrete beams below the walls, or they could be piles which are concrete, steel or timber columns driven or drilled vertically into the ground. The essential part of the foundation is that it distributes the weight of the house to the ground so that the ground is able to support the load and therefore the house doesn’t settle or sink. This may involve excavating through the upper layers of ground to reach soil or rock that can support the weight of the building. Foundations should be rigid to evenly distribute the load and to prevent unequal settlement of the house.
What impacts house foundations
The type of foundations will depend on the ground conditions under the house, the load of the house above (for instance houses with two or more floor levels require more substantial foundations than a single floor house and houses with solid brick walls are heavier than frame houses clad with tin or boards), the weather conditions (houses in cyclone, hurricane and tornedo belts require more robust foundations to keep the house firmly anchored to the ground), and if there’s a basement.
Specialised house foundations
Some houses require special foundations. This might be because:
Special foundations are usually costly and take additional time to construct. Sometimes these have to be installed by specialist contractors. If large machines are required then access may be a problem if there’re overhead restrictions (such as power lines and tree branches) or narrow steep access routes. Always ensure that the design for all structures are complete so that all the foundations are constructed at the same time. Remobilising specialist equipment to construct additional foundations later will add more costs.
Good foundations are critical for your home
It is advisable to get expert advice when deciding on the foundations for your home. Poor foundations could result in cracking of your home, which is unsightly, and good even be so severe that your home is not safe to live in. Inadequate foundations can be very costly, even destroy the dreams of your new home for you. Good foundations are vital for your new home. Do not take short cuts with the foundations for your new home or extension to your existing house.
#homeconstruction #buildingfoundations #housefoundations #houseconstruction
This is an extract from the author's book 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses: Volume 1 Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home'.
© 2022 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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Paul Netscher has written 2 easy to read books 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses - Volumes 1 and 2'. An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses Volume 1 deals with Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home. and Designing your ideal home Volume 2 deals with Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home.
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I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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