Yesterday we talked about digging the cellar hole with the excavator, that included our recommendation to not “over-dig” more than three feet. It is necessary to over-dig some so that men can work building the foundation.
The first part and some would say the most important part, is to build the Footings for the foundation. A footing is the large form of concrete that everything will sit on. Currently excavation and concrete work is in progress for a home to in The Berkshires of Massachusetts. The Professional Engineer that designed that foundation is calling for a footing that is 2’ wide and 10” tall.
Take a look at today’s photograph and you will see the forms being built for the footing. Every footing that is used in northern climates must be built so that it is below the frost during the winter. Normally a footing must be at least 4’ below the finished grade of the land. This way the footing is never impacted by heaving ground caused during winter’s freezing temperatures and the spring thaw.
Take another look at today’s photograph and you will notice that on the left-hand side of the picture there is a huge mound of dirt that towards the end of the job will be distributed around the property and the finished grade will be about six feet above the footing. This foundation will be safe from winter’s wrath.
Another thing that the Engineer called for in our most recent project is the use of Concrete that is 3,500 pound concrete. What that means is the concrete in this job is designed to hold 3,500 pounds of weight per square inch, that is its PSI. Obviously, the higher the PSI the stronger the concrete. A typical range for residential concrete is from 2,500 PSI all the way up to 5,000 PSI.
The greater the mass of concrete (its size) and the higher PSI the stronger the concrete. For example: a garage floor that is made using 2,500 PSI and only 3” thick will obviously crack far easier than 5,000 PSI that is 5” thick. It all depends on what you want.
Poured in the concrete are pieces of Rebar or Reinforcing Rods of Steel, Rebar for short. The Rebar runs both horizontal and vertical, all done for strength. The reinforcing steel adds tensile strength. There’s lots more to concrete. Stay tuned.
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