Residential Construction: Understanding Different Shallow Foundations

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Hello, my name is Gary. When I went into business, I didn't have a great deal of money. The lack of funds meant that I had to buy commercial premises which had seen better days. The roof was leaking, the plumbing was causing problems in the bathrooms and the interior walls were in need of repair. Thankfully, my brother loaned me some money so I could call in some contractors to work on the building before I opened it to my customers. The workmen were great, they carried out a quick but professional repair and I was able to open for business. My business is doing really well and I couldn't be happier with the building. I decided to start this blog to offer advice to others who are considering hiring construction contractors.

Residential Construction: Understanding Different Shallow Foundations

24 February 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

The foundation will determine the resilience and durability of your residential structure. Therefore, this is an important aspect that you should discuss with your general and excavation contractors during the planning stage of your construction project. In general, there are two broad classes of foundations: shallow and deep. The latter is favourable because it provides a strong base for the pertinent building. However, it is not normally necessary for most residential structures since the buildings are lighter. Moreover, the cost of a deep foundation is extremely high. Shallow foundations reduce construction expenses without compromising structural integrity by distributing the house load on the upper ground layers. Here are the different forms of shallow foundations to consider for your new home.

Individual Footings

Individual footings are also commonly referred to as spread or isolated footings. As implied, these are utilised when the load of the residential building is to be carried by separate columns. Each footing is used to support a single column, and it can be built in a circular or rectangular shape. Typically, the area of the footing is wider than the column for better weight distribution. The exact design of the individual footings foundations will depend on diverse factors. These include the safe bearing capacity of the site grounds and the potential weight of the building. If these aspects are not carefully assessed, the building will be prone to failure. The main advantage of this type of shallow foundation is its simplicity and subsequent low cost.

Mat Foundations

If you are planning on building a residential structure with a basement, you should consider selecting a mat foundation. This type of construction base is also known as raft foundation, and it is favoured because of its stability. Basically, the structure is designed to distribute the weight from the walls and the columns across the whole building area. This reduces the pressure exerted on the ground on specific points, particularly in comparison to the individual footings. If the soil in your property is relatively weak, this might be the better choice for your project. The wide weight distribution will prevent destabilisation of the supporting soil.

Strip Footings

Strip footings are ideal for houses that utilise load bearing masonry walls. These are designed and built as a continuous footing as opposed to several isolated columns. In simple terms, the base beneath the load bearing walls is a long structural strip which provides uniform weight support. This is an ideal choice for your building if all the building weight is supported by entire walls, not columns.