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Back to School
Building Series: Step 1: Foundation
To build anything, you have to start with a strong and steady foundation. At Capital Homes, we take special care to ensure our foundations are strong and stable, so that each house is ready to become someone’s home.
Before starting, we level and prepare our home sites so that we can begin building on even ground. Once the site is prepared, laying the foundation takes between 2 and 4 weeks to complete, depending largely on the weather.
First, we set the “footing,” or concrete anchoring around the perimeter of the home, which takes less than a day. This is achieved by digging a shallow trench at least 18 inches in depth around the perimeter of the home. (The exact depth may change according to city specifications.) That trench has a rebar box built inside and then rods of rebar are placed upright evenly throughout the trench. (This will eventually help tie the slab to the footing.) Then, we pour the concrete and level it throughout the trench. We use a rebar-enforced, single-pour concrete for extra stability and reinforcement.
After a day of drying time, the preparations for the main concrete slab begin. This slab is the concrete layer that will make up the base of the home.
Wooden boards or “forms” are set along the entire perimeter, within the concrete footings. These boards delineate the exact outline of the home.
Then, plumbers come to set the sewer and drain lines and water lines underneath the house, raising the pipes so that they are accessible once the slab is poured. Then the interior of the forms are filled with dirt, the dirt is sprayed to prevent termites, and a thick layer of plastic is laid down.
Capital Homes builds on post-tension slabs, which means that there are cables set within the concrete which will eventually be pulled taut for more stability. At this point, these cables are stretched across the area of the home in a grid pattern. The cables are designed to reinforce the concrete and prevent any cracking that occurs from displacing, which can damage the home when it settles.
Finally, concrete is poured on top of the tension cables, with the ends of the plumbing pipes still sticking up above the top of the forms. Once the concrete dries, the foundation is complete and the construction of the house itself can begin!