Choosing a Foundation for a House What You Need to Know

Choosing a Foundation for a House

The foundation of a house takes on the load of the structure and is therefore the base for a home’s design. A foundation must not only support the framework of a house but it must prevent the absorption of soil vapour and water. Regardless of the foundation that is used, it is an essential component in a well-built house.

General Foundation Work

When planning foundation work, you need to first identify the width of the trenches that will be dug and the load-bearing walls. A building inspector can predetermine the depth. When groundwork is initiated, trenches are dug to the agreed level before foundation laying in Bishops Stortford. The concrete generally is laid at least 150 millimetres deep before blocks are laid up to floor level.

Possible Issues

Before a foundation is laid, it is always helpful to make an assessment about possible issues. Usually these issues include the following:

  • The presence of big trees
  • Clay soils
  • Boggy ground

Sometimes, if ground conditions appear to be challenging, you may want to consider installing a basement. Otherwise, foundations are established as simple foundations, engineered foundations, piled foundations, or raft foundations.

Simple Foundations

Simple foundations are constructed by placing concrete into trenches and then building up from this point to ground level in blockwork. Here, the walls switch to stone, block, or the selected exterior cladding. This type of construction is also known as a strip foundation.

Another alternative that is used extensively is to fill the excavated trenches with a ready-mix concrete to trenchfill, or just below ground level. While this approach saves on labour, it can increase costs. The footings are topped just above ground level with a damp-proofing course before fixing the ground floor.

When Foundation Laying Becomes Challenging

Whilst straightforward foundations such as simple foundations are extensively laid, sometimes the work needs to be overseen by a structural engineer. In this case, the ground may be difficult to excavate. Normally, the simplest method in this case is to dig the trenches deeper and fill them with more concrete. In some instances, polystyrene sheets are fitted in the trenches to serve as slip membranes.

Using Piling for a Foundation

If the depth is impractical or a site requires deep foundations in more than one spot, piling may be used when establishing the foundation. In this instance, piles are driven and then filled with concrete. The entire foundation is topped with a ground beam.

Again, a site inspection will give you a better idea about the type of foundation that will eventually be established for your site. Soil types influence what type of foundation will be laid. Classifications include rock, chalk, clay, firm clay over soft clay, peat, filled ground, and gravel, and sand. Therefore, speak to a groundworks expert to see how to proceed.

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