SilverBeam Homes Blog

How to Build a Foundation

by Bevony on 20 February 2022 Comments Off on How to Build a Foundation

The foundation of a house is the concrete base that the house sits on. It is the professionals that get these tasks done, but we understand you could be curious as to how it’s all done. So here we will guide you through the process of the basic steps of building a foundation for your home or garage. 

Types of Foundations 

A foundation ensures that a building will stay in place. There are three general foundation types. There are differences in how foundations are made across the region due to climate. Warmer places have slab foundations and crawl spaces, while in other places homes will have basements. 

  1. The most common type of foundation is the concrete slab foundation. These foundations are manufactured with poured concrete with reinforced steel bars. The concrete is typically between four and eight inches deep. 
  1. Then there are basement foundations that are made with subterranean concrete walls supporting the structure above-ground. These types of foundations offer more square footage, but it is of course more work and requires more material. This makes this type of foundation more expensive. 
  1. A crawl space foundation is made with concrete footings underneath the ground. There are short concrete walls extending one foot above the surface, and the house rests on these. 

Any type of foundation that makes use of concrete must have secure footing. The footings serve as a support for the foundation, which supports the house. A foundation is designed based on the soil conditions and the size of the building, which it will support. The dimensions and the depth of the footings are then based on the type of foundation, as well as other factors. These other factors include: 

  • Water tables
  • Frost line
  • Flood zones
  • Stability of soil 
  • Type of soil 
  • Drainage of site
  • Slope 
  • Local building codes

Building the Foundation 

Foundation size and footing calculations have to be done before any excavation can be done. Forms for the footings are made with pressure-treated lumber. Rebar is installed within the forms. The forms are staked into the ground, so they will stay in place when the concrete is poured. Once the concrete has cured, the forms are then removed. 

The next step all depends on the type of foundation that is being built. Mortar and cinder block can be added on top in courses until you reach the top of the foundation. Or a concrete wall can be cast with the use of wooden forms similar to those used when making the footings. It is very important that all of these walls are level and plumb. 

For slab foundations, a layer of compressed gravel is necessary to be added to the perimeter of the foundation to ensure proper drainage. You also need to add a vapor barrier along with a layer of sand. Wire mesh is needed for reinforcement, then concrete poured in the defined area after you have placed your necessary conduits for electrical work and plumbing. Porous, clean backfill is used in the space between the complete foundation and the excavated dirt. Surface level ground is graded to form a slope to take water away from the house. 

Building the Foundation for a Detached Structure

The general outline for building a home’s foundation is similar to that of building one for a detached garage. You always want to obtain the necessary permits for any type of foundation or construction you are doing.  Then you can follow the necessary steps found here: 

  • Lay out the foundation area and mark the perimeter
  • Ensure the absence of underground utilities
  • Follow building and safety codes to dig out dirt for the footings and slabs
  • Build forms for footings and slab
  • Install Rebar
  • Pour concrete footings
  • Pour concrete for the slab 

Did this information provide you with insight into the process of building a foundation? Because if it did, we would love to know. Therefore, let us know in the comments! And when you are ready to build a home, let SilverBeam Homes become your homebuilders of choice! Contact us today.

BevonyHow to Build a Foundation