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and Layout | Excavation
Options | Subrough
Plumbing & HVAC | Dampproofing,
Waterproofing and Window Wells | Water
and Sewer Laterals | Foundation
Drain, Backfill and Rough Grade |
The foundation is the part of the structure that contacts
the earth. It must be capable of holding the structure,
and prevent excessive settlement. The house structure
is attached to the foundation. Foundations today are
generally made of concrete, or CMU (cement masonry
units or cement blocks). Almost all foundations are
reinforced with steel bar called rebar.
In the past foundations were made of bricks, stone
and wood. Recreational home built in the mountains
or on the beach are often constructed on pier foundations.
There are four popular types of foundations that are
used: Basements, crawlspaces, Monolithic slab and
stem wall slab. Your choice of foundation will
depend on climate, use, and budget and building traditions
in your area.
Basements are most often built in cold weather climates
such as the Northeast, Midwest and Rocky Mountains.
The footings in these colder climates need to be below
the frost line which is fairly deep in these areas.
Basements provide the cheapest square footage in most
The upfront cost of basements is high, but the cost
of the square feet that is gained is comparatively
inexpensive. Check your area for basements. If basements
are popular in your area, not having one may make
your home harder to sell. There are three types of
basements standard, walkout and daylight. Standard
basements are not accessable by the outside and don't
have exposed basement walls. Daylight basements have
one or more walls exposed, and are typically built
on hillsides. Walkout basements have access via an
exterior door and staircase to the outside. The
typical critical path schedule for basements is: Footings,
foundation, sub-rough plumbing and heating, backfill,
basement slab, framing.
Crawlspace is more popular in moderate climates such
as the Pacific Northwest, the mid-Atlantic coast.
The footings are placed below the frost line, and
a stem wall is placed on top of the footing. The sub-floor
structure is placed on top of the foundation. The
typical critical path schedule for crawlspaces is:
plumbing, backfill, framing and HVAC (note: subfloor
plumbing and HVAC can be done after floor framing
Slabs are most common in warmer areas such as Florida,
Arizona, California and Texas. Since there is often
a shallow frost line, or no frost line at all the
footings and slab can be poured right on top of the
ground. The footings and slab can often be poured
at the same time. When the footings and slab are poured
together it is called a monolithic slab.
Slabs are the quickest and cheapest foundation because
they require less labor, skill and materials cost.
The typical critical path schedule for monopours:
sub-rough plumbing and heating, backfill (or bagging
in some areas) pour slab and framing.Form
Where a slab is desired for cost savings or otherwise
in a cold climate a stem wall/slab foundation is the
choice. The footings and foundation are constructed
like a crawlspace foundation. Fill is placed inside
the foundation and is compacted. The slab is then
poured. Sand bags are used ocassionally instead of
fill. The typical critical path runs as follows:
Footings, foundation, plumbing, HVAC backfill, pour
slab and framing.
Order our customizable
schedule for your project!