Our foundation pour is complete, the forms have been removed, and we have passed our third (or maybe fourth?) city inspection. This is a major milestone and the step where things begin to take shape. The outline of the structure is quite literally set in stone.
Anatomy of a Foundation
The foundation is the two foot high concrete wall set atop a short, wide concrete base known as the footing. The two are individually rebar reinforced and joined by many rebar studs. The foundation is replete with attachment points for the superstructure: threaded bars stick up out of the concrete, long “straps” of sheet metal wait to be nailed to beams, and footing pads litter the firm soil.
In the picture, there two major cavities in the foundation and three sites where individual mounds of concrete are poured.
The cavity to the left is the garage. It will be backfilled with dirt and gravel and the garage floor slab will be poured to the level of the concrete pad in its middle. That concrete pad is a main support for the front of the house. That, in conjunction with the three tall concrete posts rising from the foundation on the far left, will support the front section.
The cavity to the right is the main floor crawlspace. It contains twenty one concrete pads which will support the main floor beams and bearing walls from above. I’ve never lived in a house with a crawlspace, but the critter horror stories make me want to install a laser perimeter fence down there to detect any unwanted guests.
Two more concrete pads in the right foreground are the anchors for the front patio. Apparently this house design actually uses this patio as a load-bearing outrigger of sorts. Note to the people who may someday buy this house from us: Don’t tear down the front porch.
The rest of the concrete mess in the garage space is where the cement workers dumped their excess material. This is actually a good thing because it means our builder doesn’t need to use as much fill to bring the garage floor up to level.
Achievement Unlocked: Rock Solid
This milestone has significant meaning for the builders as well. Completion of the foundation pour unlocks the first batch of funds that the bank will pay to the builder. They will now move quickly to get as much done before the end of the month as possible. The bank will only disburse funds for budget line items on site and installed.