Now that preliminary legwork and organization have been completed, it’s time to start the groundwork. This work includes all aspects of preparing the land to support a house. Once again, these steps have been organized in a progressive order to ensure expediency.
1. Excavating: The framer or surveyor must mark the house on the lot before the excavator comes to dig the foundation. In the interests of efficiency, it may be wise to dig the service hookups at this time. Your plumber will do storm, sewer, and water connections and your electrician will lay piping for cable and electrical connections.
2. Sand and Gravel: Depending on the soil, you will need good sand to provide your home with increased stability. Additional support to slabs is offered by inserting a minimum of 6” of gravel underneath. Keep in mind, more fill may be required to raise the level of dirt for improved firmness.
3. Foundation: Next, you must order the necessary materials for your foundation. Depending on your desired foundation type (wood vs. concrete), you will need to visit either a lumberyard or a concrete company.
4. Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical: Although you can call these trades at a later time, they will have to dig through the concrete. It may be preferable to bring your tradesmen in before the concrete is poured.
5. Footings and Inspection: Once framers have finished laying the footing, request an inspection.You will want this assessment completed prior to pouring the footings and foundation.
6. Strip Foundation: Usually the day after the concrete has been poured, the foundation can be stripped. At the same time, you can contact the concrete company to retrieve their forms.
7. Damp Proofing: If the slab or skim coat will be below grade level, water proofing is required.
8. Drain Tile: Whenever there is living space below grade level, drain tile should be placed around the perimeter of your home. The top of the drain tile should be placed evenly with the foundation and footing joint. Depending on the soil conditions and type of house, rules concerning drainage vary.
9. Drain Tile Inspection: It is imperative that the drain tile passes inspection before proceeding. Backtracking later on may not be possible the closer your home gets to completion.
10. Sewer and Water Hookups: Your plumber is responsible for hooking up sewer and water connections. Afterwards, it is important to schedule an inspection.
11. Backfilling and Grading: After your drain has been inspected, the backfilling and grading can be done. By having a well prepared foundation for your house and driveway, you will get an excellent return on your investment.
12. Slab or Skim Coat: Now that you have completed all of the steps outlined above, it is time to pour your slab or skim coat.
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