Once you decide to build a basement, the next step is to start with the detailed planning and designing of the construction work. And one of the most vital steps of that plan is laying the foundation. Most of the construction work generally begins with building the foundation since it serves as the primary base and support for the above structures. It distributes the weight of your house to prevent the plot’s subsoil from spreading, which could lead to the house facing an uneven settlement, causing structural damage down the line. So, it makes sense for home builders to pay close attention to the details to make sure the house foundation remains dry and crack-free for as long as it has a structure to hold up.
Here’s how you can ensure a solid foundation for your basement:
A “good” foundation does a lot more than simply hold the structure above the ground. It provides stability and strength to the structure, insulates against cold, keeps out moisture, and resists movement of the surrounding soil. And a proper basement should practically last forever. Nevertheless, building a good basement is not as simple as digging a hole and pouring concrete into forms. You need to consider soil conditions, water tables, and even the quality of the backfill to tailor or custom-suit it to the construction site. And for that, every detail must be perfect – the base compacted properly, formwork set up correctly, and concrete free of any voids. Neglect any of these house foundation steps, and even the most carefully poured foundation can fail.
Let’s quickly discuss the house foundation construction steps to give you an in-depth understanding of the process.
5 Steps to Building a Basement
Laying the foundation is a crucial construction step as this is the moment your future home starts to take shape. Typically, the basement is constructed in five steps discussed below:
1. Prepare the Foundation Layout
The foundation layout drawing for excavation is prepared by the structural designer and approved by the architect. The contractor follows this layout plan, and the foundation marking is done on-site accordingly. After this, the architect cross-checks the dimensions to make sure there are no errors.
2. Excavation Work
Once the architect approves the foundation layout marking, you can proceed with the excavation work. The excavation details depend on what construction method you have chosen: the load-bearing-wall system or the column-beam-frame structure system. If you have decided on the former, trenches will be excavated along the wall. In the case of a framed structure, excavation will be done below every column up to the footing base. Ensure that all excavation work is done, as per the foundation layout drawings and instructions given by the architect and structural designer.
3. Laying down the Downproof Nylon
Once the excavation work is completed for the basement, the downproof nylon needs to be layer properly before moving on to the reinforcement or basement Construction stage.
4. Basement Construction
The next step is to begin the construction of your basement. Again, depending on the type of construction method you have opted for, the process will vary.
In the case of a load-bearing structure foundation, a bed of concrete (PCC) is laid at the base of trenches. The brick or stone masonry is constructed over it as per the foundation details provided by the architect and structural designer.
On the other hand, in the case of the column-beam frame structure system, column footing is constructed in the trench. Once the architect and structural designer have approved the steel details and the quality of work, the concrete can be poured into the formwork. You can prepare the concrete on- site or choose ready mix concrete (RMC) if there are large footings and
requirements of concrete. After the column is built up to the Plinth beam level, the plinth beam is erected for the walls of the house to rest on.
5. Carpentry Work
At this stage, the carpentry Work is done on the reinforcement so as to enable concrete casting. All stages of building a basement are very important and can’t be ignored.
6. Concrete Cast
At this stage, concrete is poured into the site to according to the shape already done in previous stages.
So, these were the basic basement construction steps that you needed to know, but remember that the construction quality will only be as good as the materials used.