How To Prepare For Your Building Foundations

Building the foundations of a property is a mammoth task – yet one that is completely necessary for creating a solid, sturdy structure. While the foundations should look simple, straightforward and effortless, their instalment is of course far from this. Such projects take time, labour and the knowledge and experience of experts in the construction field.

At Dart & Co, we are a reputable structural engineering company who specialise in creating piling, underpinning and structural foundations. Our expert team consists of structural engineers, architects, private homeowners, building contractors, insurance companies and local authorities to provide structural services for a number of commercial, domestic and industrial construction projects up and down the UK.

As experts, we have compiled a thorough list of things that you should understand and do before the foundation process begins…

1.Investigate the site

Take a look at the condition of the soil – often, the quality of the ground can mean that extra planning and work is required to ensure the structures are solid enough to support the building. We can advise you on this if you are unsure.

2.Keep it simple

Planning far in advance can ensure the initial steps are simple yet accurate. Multiple footing steps within the foundation can incur unwanted charges and over-complicate the already huge task of creating building foundations. Instead, a couple of big foundation steps that take into consideration the changing grade, will be more effective than a load of small, incremental steps.

3.Provide simple datum points

The Datum point is the point of reference for further measurements or analysis to be made. These are incredibly important, and keeping these simple will enable your contractor to review the foundation work effectively. Make sure you add in information such as the line of excavation, bottom of footing and the key top of wall locations.


4. Simplicity in the detail

Within your structural plan, emphasise a few key items that will allow other pieces of the data for fall into place. It is important to highlight and review all of the information relating to your building outline and framings, such as hardware requirements and dimensions.

5. Cover all edges

Visible slab/wall joinings should be avoided once the finish is complete. Not doing so, can often mean the contractor has to shrink the top of the wall by inlaying a wood-buck-out to get the slab to extend under the framed wall.

6. Bolts and all

It’s important to contact your contractor for advice about installing all the bolts needed for the building foundation. The benefit of having bolts cast-in, for example, means that you can avoid drill/epoxy-grout later on in the process (which can be a huge additional task).

7. Build up a good rapport with your contractor

As foundation and underpinning experts, we are here to help you build the best structural foundation for your building. We can provide the advice and support needed to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Working together is the best way to avoid unwanted work and unnecessary additional time and costs.

8. Consider surround utilities

Utilities such as underground piping and electrical wiring can cause a massive problem when laying the foundations of your property. It is important that these are located and that you contact your local services to check that you are not putting yourself or anyone in danger. Planning ahead can also ensure that you do not end up with some sort of pipe running inside the framed wall. Factor in the opinions of your plumbing and electrical supplies as these can delay concrete sub and build time.

9. Ask us about lampblack/colour additives

There may be a large area of exposed concrete when the foundational work is complete. You may want us to spruce the area up with a splash of lampblack (a soft bluish-black pigment) or some industrial paint. We can help to assist you in making a decision about the type of coating required to make the foundations a little more colourful.

10. Watch what you wear

Of course, building and construction sites can be pretty messy places. It’s best to wear the correct safety gear to limit hazards, but also to wear clothes that you are happy to get dirty.

At Dart & Co we offer a complete, comprehensive foundations package to suit your building needs. We can also help with the piling requirements before the foundational work begins, and see the project right through from start to finish. Get in touch with a member of our team today for a quote or for more advice and information.

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