House Building: Laying the Foundations

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When your Devon builders construct a new property one of the first (and most important) steps is to lay the foundations. The foundations of a property are what connect the construction to the ground below it and transfer the weight of the property down through the ground. There are several types of foundation, depending on the type of building that is being constructed, although the principal types of modern foundation are either shallow or deep types. In this article we look at the three main types of foundation after discussing some of the history behind the development of different types of construction.

Padstones
A padstone is probably the most straightforward type of foundation historically. It consists of one individual stone that spreads the weight of the construction across the ground.

Conventional Stone Foundations
Dry stones and stones that are inlaid in mortar have been widely employed in foundations around the world for many years.

Rubble Trench Foundations
A rubble trench foundation consists of a shallow trench. This foundation trench contains rubble or stones and travel beneath the frost line.and may incorporate a pipe to drain excess water away.

Contemporary types of foundations are principally made up of two different types. These are:

Shallow Foundations
These types of foundation are frequently referred to as footings. They are commonly buried around a yard into the earth. One frequently employed type is known as a spread footing. This is made up of layers of concrete which go below the frost line and have the effect of transferring the weight from the walls of the property down to the soil. A second kind of shallow foundation is what is termed “slab on grade.” In this type of foundation a concrete slab serves to transfer the weight of the construction to the soil. The thickness of the slab varies according to the weight of the particular structure. The heavier the building that is under construction the thicker the slab will need to be.

Devon house builders foundations

Concrete Pile Foundations

Deep Foundations
A deep foundation works somewhat differently to a shallow foundation. It works by transferring the weight of a construction down through the weaker layer of the top soil to the sub-soil below using piles. In years gone by these piles would be constructed from wood. Nowadays, they are more likely to me fabricated from concrete.

Monopile Foundations
This type of foundation is also a deep foundation. As its name suggests, it employs one single structure, of a substantial diameter, which is buried into the ground to support the weight of the structure. This type of foundation is most frequently used in the construction of larger buildings.

Summary
Foundations are a key part of any construction project. If the foundations are not properly laid, according to the types of building and the nature of the soil on which it is to be built, it will create a risk that the finished property will settle into the ground. This may cause damage to the property’s structure which, in a worst case scenario, may result in the property having to be demolished completely. Getting the foundations right is therefor essential.

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