Hermanus Builder:  laying a strip foundation

Hermanus Builder:  laying a strip foundation

Excavating foundations is one of the most important jobs in construction: if it is not done properly you will end up with subsidence, cracking brickwork and a great expense to remedy once your house is built.

Here are some basic pointers when excavating a basic strip foundation that can be used for a garden wall or an extension:

1. The tools required for this job are: a spade, a shovel, a prong, a sting line, some pegs, a heavy hammer,cement, ballast, a wheel barrow, a concrete mixer and a spirit level
2. Measure and mark out your external wall dimensions, both width and length, using a string line and pegs. Using some building sand, trace over the top of the string line to give you your dig line on the ground and then remove the string.
3. The depth and width of the foundations will vary depending on what you are building: for example a standard dig in good ground for an extension is one metre depth by 600mm width
4. Start digging ~ this can be hard physical work and can be done by hand or by a small digger if accessible.
5. Once dug peg out the depth of concrete required in the bottom of the foundation. 230mm minimum is required.
6. Mix your concrete using cement and ballast to one part cement and five parts ballast and add water to required consistency.
7. Pour the concrete into the foundations to the top of the pegs which should then make your foundations level.
8. Leave to dry for 24-48 hours depending on weather conditions

If you would like advice on foundations or building an extension  please call your Hermanus builder at Donnelly Home Maintenance.