100_0602Buildings require foundations because foundations support and stabilize the walls and roof. This is a pretty important job! Excavation is the removal of soil to make room for the building’s foundation. So before starting the excavating, here’s some information about foundations.

The foundation itself needs a foundation. Most houses are so heavy that the foundation must be widened at the base to keep it from sinking into the ground.  The wide part of a foundation is called the footing. The dimensions depends on the kind of soil under it. Most footings are designed to carry 1,000 lbs per square foot. A two-story house will have a wider foundation footing than a single-story house. The footing is typically twice as wide as the wall. That is, the footing for an 8-inch foundation walls is usually 16 inches wide. However, we don’t go by this; we go by your house’s foundation plan.

The foundation wall can be just 4 feet tall or it can be, with support, 10 feet tall or more. Or it can be shorter on one side and taller on another. It just needs to be level on top where the floor will be installed, which I’ll tell you about in the next chapter.

How tall and wide is the foundation for your home? Refer to the foundation plans approved by your building department. It will include the foundation’s layout, dimensions, size, elevation and height.

The most common foundation is the continuous wall. It can be built of stone, clay tile, block, brick, concrete, treated wood, metal or other material. Reinforced concrete is the most popular. Continuous walls are used to support heavy loads or to ensure a crawl space or basement.

A slab foundation is a solid floor set directly on the soil. Most modern garage floors are concrete slabs with a continuous wall foundation around the perimeter.

A step foundation is a continuous wall of variable height. A shore wooden wall, called a knee or pony wall, is built on top of the step foundation to bring it to a single level.

A pier foundation is a series of concrete piers and footings that support the structure. If made of pressure-treated wood, it’s called a pole or post foundation.

It’s important to know the type and size of the foundation now because it tells you what soil needs to be removed or excavated for the foundation. It’s best not to remove any more compacted soil than necessary when excavating for a foundation. The more the earth has been disturbed, the more difficult it is to ensure that the foundation won’t move in the future.

Renaissance has access to valuable resources to ensure a successful foundation for your home include the following:

  • Building material suppliers
  • Excavation equipment
  • Transit-mix concrete suppliers
  • Foundation contractors
  • Backhoe and loader operators
  • Construction engineers
  • Concrete block manufacturers and suppliers
  • All the necessary construction tools

Contact Renaissance when you are ready to begin your project.

Located in Gill, Renaissance Excavating serves Western Massachusetts including Franklin County and the Pioneer Valley areas.

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