How do Building Foundations Work? – A Step-By-Step Guide

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How do Building Foundations Work? – A Step-By-Step Guide

Building a house is a long and tiring process and it is not just about four walls that are visible, however, it is the foundation that supports the whole building and distributes its entire weight so that there is no unequal settlement of the plot leading to damage of the structural integrity.

The type of foundation that one chooses depends upon the type of soil that you are laying your building into. The steps of building a foundation can vary at every level, however, some certain points and marks are never skipped, some of which are,

Survey and preparation of the site -

Generally carried out by a professional surveyor who visits the site and analyzes it for any damage that has been done previously and then they also take appropriate steps to correct it. They also work towards ensuring that the building work to be done on the site is all according to the code of construction and is not violating any terms of it.

Excavation and foundations -

This step can be skipped if the land that you have chosen to build on has already had buildings on it. However, if you are the first one to make any constructional changes to the site then it is time to bring certain heavy movers and machines to come and shape the landscape.

A structural engineer is required to measure the depth of excavation required at the site and for the process to come to completion it can take a few to several days. Removing any pebbles, stone, or material that can hamper the process of construction is removed in this step.

Just as important excavation is, foundations are much more important and are legally required to be done in any building. Depending on the type of foundation that you have decided to get installed, different steps are carried out to lay them.

Waterproofing is an important part at the foundational level as concrete which is most commonly used in this process is not waterproof and hence can cause a build-up of moisture and termites which can damage the foundation. Building a sealed and water-resistant membrane at this level can be effective in sealing the water below and above the surface of the foundation, thus keeping it intact.

Construction of basements, garages, or cellars is also carried out at this step itself as they are built at a partially submerged level as compared to the house.

Framing -

Foundations and fittings are the horizontal support system of the house whereas frames are the vertical support. It is the outlines built by the carpenter wherein walls, roof systems, and the floor systems are completed. Actual walls are not built at this level, however, if you walk around the interior you will get a feel of it.

A carpenter is one of the most important persons that will be working on your house so it becomes a golden rule to stick with a reputed and experienced carpenter. Floor timber is laid down and across the walls as the first step here and then built upwards which resembles the basic rectangular structure of the walls. Once they are erected, each of the footings is then secured by metal strappings to make sure that they don’t fall and cause any harm to the project and the people working.

Once the walls are designed and the basic floor and boardings for the door are in place, work on the roof framing starts in which the basic outlining structure for roof slating is erected. Waterproofing is carried out at this stage as well, however, it is not the same as that for the ground membrane.

Later in this stage, strand boards are installed into the timber gaps thus providing a backbone to the interior and exterior of the house walls. Windows and doors are installed later by the carpenter at the ease of construction.

This is the time to purchase the utilities and cabinets that you want to install in your building and immediately slot them in the construction process at the comfort of the carpenters and other workers.

Work on the exteriors -

Now that all the backbones have been settled and done, it is time to design and ideate the exterior of the house.

The drywall is taped and the texturing is also done, finishing touches around the veneer are completed. A primer coat of paint is applied once the drywall has been completely taped.

The roof is also flashed with metal or lead to avoid any leakage or seepage into the house. This is also the right time to think about any additions that you might want to make in the house like a  terrace or balcony.

Work on the interiors

Once all the exterior work has been finished, it is time to focus on the designing of the interior looks of the house and working on the idea of what you might want to install or add in the interiors as this is the place of your house that you will spend most of your time at.

Electrical fixtures, phone lines, plumbing, sewage, drainage, pipes and wires, water lines, etc, are paid attention to at this level. These systems are not installed at this stage, however, the basic wires and groundwork are laid out.

Insulation is again an important part of this step and must be paid attention to. It is a quick process and can be carried out without much expertise, however, if forgotten it can cause trouble after the project.

The plasterboard is laid out, flooring is done, and any painting or further installations required are also finished at this step.

Clean out -

The house is complete now, yay! As a result of the constitution process that was done in this place, there will be a lot of tidying and cleaning up to do which is done as a last step. Now is the time to work on landscaping the whole house according to whatever you want and however you like.

Building a strong foundation is the start to building a strong house and if you follow these important steps you will have a support structure that will ensure the structural integrity of the house and keep it intact for many years to come.


June 3 2013, Anonymous

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