What Are Building Foundations?

Article by Mo Gaffar

 

In simple terms, building foundations are laid beneath a newly-built structure. They ensure that the load of a building is evenly distributed and provide support to prevent structural damage. Establishing solid foundations is an essential step of any new build or extension project. 

When constructing a new home, commercial property or extension, it’s important that the structure is built in the same position shown on your approved plans. Your local planning authority can check that your building is where it should be, so accuracy is key when laying foundations for a new build. 

What Are They Made Of?

Building foundations are made of concrete, poured into trenches dug into the ground that outline the footprint of the building and its walls. Once the trenches have been dug and inspected by a building control officer, timber pegs need to be hammered into the sides of the trenches to mark the concrete level.

Check that the ready-mix concrete lorry will be able to access your site and that its chute can be extended to reach your foundations, if not, it will be necessary to hire a concrete pump. Once the concrete has been poured, it needs to be raked by hand to meet the level of the pegs.

How Do Building Foundations Work?

When placing a heavy load (a new building) on a soft surface (the soil), foundations provide a stable, level base on which to build. Instead of the weight of the building being focused on one point, foundations help to spread this weight evenly and prevent overloading of the underlying soil. 

Can I Lay Building Foundations Myself?

Laying foundations requires accuracy and skill and incorrectly laid foundations can compromise the structural integrity of your building. If you don’t have previous experience laying foundations, we recommend leaving it to the experts. 

Contact Our Team

Beginning with a site inspection, we can accurately determine how deep your foundations need to be, before excavating and filling the foundations with concrete. Your project will be in good hands with our experienced team, so get in touch to book a site inspection and get your build underway.