Before the construction of any building can begin with the foundation of cement, site preparation is always necessary. But site preparation also means much more than simply removing any plants or shrubs that are in the way. You’ll also need to have any obstacles removed, such as an old patio that could be in the way, and excavation work will also need to be done before the cement can be poured as well.
The plot plan is essentially the ‘staking out’ process. A transmit can be used for larger sized projects in order to locate exactly where the excavation work will need to be done. Once the staking out is complete, stakes will be driven into the ground and strings drawn to connect the stakes and outline the basic plot of the building.
Take note that even large buildings can seem quite small when they are reduced to simple stake and strings, but it will be significantly larger once the building process is complete.
Excavation, of course, is where big diesel powered machines arrive (typically a couple of days after the plot plan is complete) and begin bulldozing away dirt for the foundation. While excavation is never fast, major vehicles such as the back hoe are more than capable of moving vast swaths of dirt and soil at once, and can even move boulders and tree stumps if necessary as well.
The main goal here should be to dig a foundation hole a minimum of six inches beneath the frost line, which is the depth to which the winter front will penetrate into the ground. Take note that the frost line varies by region, and here in Oregon where the winter frost can penetrate much deeper into the earth, a foundation of two to three feet deep may be necessary. Digging beneath the frost line is necessary to ensure that your house will settle evenly, as well as to prevent cracks forming in the cement in the foundation as well.
The foundation can be built as soon as the hole has been excavated away. The first step will be a base of cement that would be wider in size than the wall that will be constructed; this is referred to as the footing. The footing will need to distribute the weight over a large area.
After the footing is complete, the next step will be the walls, which can only be constructed after the concrete has set (which should take up to five days). The wall will be either a cement block or concrete that has poured into a wooden form (which would have been removed after the concrete has set). Setting up a form to pour a foundation should take a good half o the day, and the forms will then be stripped and removed around three days later. Today, stone foundations are very rarely if ever used.
Once the concrete forms are removed, drain tiles (also known as perforated piping) will be laid outside the wall at the base. The pipes will allow the water that enters them to drain away from the foundation). At that point, all that’s left to be completed will be backfilling the earth around the cellar hole, and grading the soil on the surface so the rainwater will flow away from the house rather than into it. We also offer architectural concrete service.