So you’re looking to add on to your current homes structure, but where to begin? Home additions require additional planning, especially the foundation which needs extra attention to ensure that the leveling of the add-on works seamlessly with the original foundation. In most cases, it is desirable that both the original foundation and add-on be level, and small errors in the planning and constructing of the new addition can lead to uneven flooring and possible issues down the road. Let’s take a look at the importance of home foundations, specifically when adding to your current structure.
First step is to properly calculate the depth of the current foundation of your home or structure. This may take some additional steps such as creating a hole in the exterior wall to determine exact measurements. From there, you need to determine the necessary depth of the excavation that needs to take place including footings, joists and flooring in order to have an even layout.
Excavation will play an important role and should be done safely and with the proper equipment. DIY excavation can be accomplished but only with the right knowledge and tools can the job be performed soundly and without extensive overhead costs from mistakes. If you’re unsure of the importance of getting this part right, always reach out to a licensed contractor to help ease the planning and execution of the task at hand.
Once excavation has been completed, placing cement footings around the site will ensure a level and secure weight distribution for the foundation, flooring and additional aspects of the add-on. This can also be accomplished by hand but be sure to level the cement and then trowel the top lightly, allowing it to cure and dry.
Foundation material will be added next and can be constructed of cement blocks or treated lumber based on budget and owner preference. The two options create two different methods so it’s important to understand the differences and adhere to best practices when creating this essential part of the home addition. Cement blocks are generally stacked until the proper height is reached, placing mortar between the footings and the first layer of blocks. Lumber on the other hand is used as vertical studs, spaced evenly and then nailed together with treated plywood, covering the sides with penny nails.
Finally, back fill the work area including all sides of the foundation with dirt or gravel. For larger projects it is suggested that earth moving equipment be used but be sure to use any clay material or subsoil towards the bottom of the back fill. Remember that settling will occur so be sure to keep extra fill once things have compacted a bit.
As with any major construction project, having the knowledge, skill sets and equipment will make the undertaking that much easier. Safety should always be a concern along with stability and durability of the foundation and structure. E&K Contractors has specialized equipment and experienced contractors to complete any job on time and on budget. Before undertaking a major renovation or project, feel free to call or email us for a free quote. Although a sense of accomplishment is achieved by many DIY projects, having an expert can ensure the job runs smoothly and safely.