It's time for concrete

Yesterday we talked about digging the cellar hole and on those occasions where it is necessary to blast away ledge rock.  Today we move on to building a foundation.

Every foundation must have footings that are below the frost line.  Occasionally we talk with folks from down south and they don’t understand that every home must have footings, they are what hold the house up and keep it in place regardless of the winter freeze.  The footings must be at least 4 feet below grade, down deep enough where the earth does not freeze.  Down south it is done differently than in Vermont.  But if you build Weybridge or Wilder you will need a well built foundation for you new home.

Take a long look at today’s collage of pictures and you will see:

  1. Wooden forms being built, these are the frames for the footings and the next day concrete will be poured to fill those frames providing a solid base for the home
  2. Several of the pictures show concrete trucks pouring cement into the wall frames.  The official name for this is a Poured Reinforced Concrete Foundation.  Inside the frames steel rods or re-bar is placed to strengthen the walls. 
  3. In one of the pictures you can see a huge “arm” going up and then downwards, that is pumping the concrete from the delivery truck all the way over to the forms that make the wall.
  4. On top of a finished concrete wall is a piece of pressure treated wood, the house will sit on top of this Sill Plate.
  5. And then the foundation is coated with a Tar solution that water-proofs the walls so that the basement remains dry.

Building a foundation is hard work and must be done with care and accuracy.  After all, this is what supports and holds the home throughout its 100-year life expectancy.  What is built now will last for a very long time.

Once the concrete is poured the forms are removed and the concrete needs time for it to cure and strengthen.  How long is a good time to let the foundation sit before backfilling the ground around it?

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