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    What We’re Building Next Door: The Foundation Stage

    What We're Building Next Door: The Foundation Stage

    Things are moving along next door at my neighbor’s house. It’s exciting to watch the progress – the boys are loving it too!

    In case you missed it, I’m writing a new blog series chronicling the construction of my neighbor’s NDI home. I’ve built for friends before, but there is something about being asked by your neighbor! We’ve been friends and neighbors for over 10 years, and I am honored they asked us to build their new home.

    There are lots of steps to the process of building a custom home that I could cover, but I’ve blogged about that before (HERE and HERE). For this series, I’m really going to focus on the construction process because let’s be honest, that is really the most exciting part about building a new home!

    The next phase in construction is the foundation stage. The foundation stage is exciting for many reasons; you get to see the actual footprint of your new home and after months of planning and preparing, you finally see what is beginning to look like a house.

    First step in the foundation stage is the dig. Here was the site the morning excavation started…

    Just two days later, the hole was dug, and all the extra dirt was gone…

    While the foundation stage brings big changes to the site, it can also be the most unpredictable phase of construction. No one knows just what we will find below grade when we dig for the foundation. Unstable soil? A natural spring? Rock? All are possibilities. Thankfully when we dug for my neighbor, we didn’t uncover any glaring issues!

    After the hole is dug, the concrete company comes in to form & pour the footers, then the foundation walls…

    After the walls are poured, it is time for waterproofing & drain tile.

    What looks like black spray paint on the walls, is actually a waterproof agent that will help prevent moisture from any ground water or storm water from seeping through the foundation wall. Concrete is a very porous material which is why it is imperative to take preventative measures during construction.

    In addition to waterproofing the foundation walls, we also install an interior and exterior drain tile system. What the heck is drain tile? It’s a drainage system that directs groundwater that might gather around the house to the sump pump which then pumps the water out and away from the house.

    The 4” drain tile pipe is run along the footer on the exterior and interior of the house. This is what the pipe looks like…

    After the pipe is installed, it’s covered with filter fabric. Then gravel is placed on top to keep everything in place. Backfill can now be completed. The excavator will come back to the site and fill in the over dig around the foundation walls. After the backfill is completed, plumbing ground works can start. Any basement plumbing (bathroom, wet bar, etc.) is installed before the slabs are prepped & poured.

    Then the slabs are poured!

    The foundation stage is now completed! As I’ve said before, the foundation stage is the most unpredictable stage in construction. But once you get through this stage, you can release an audible sigh of relief and get excited for the next stage. Framing!

    Have I told you how much I love the smell of lumber…

    Dream. Build. Live.

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