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Foundations

FOUNDATIONS

fgtTHE MOST IMPORTANT AREA FOR EARLY CONSIDERATION IN A SELF-BUILD PROJECT IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE TYPE OF HOUSE FOUNDATIONS YOU WILL USE.

For the Architect to design the type of foundations that will be most suited to your ground conditions (and your budget), it is essential to provide all the relevant information available. With the increasing trend toward building on brownfield sites (ground previously built on) the need for a survey of the plot of land is essential.

A site investigation will be carried out to determine:

  • The safe bearing capacity of the subsoil
  • The level that the structure should be founded
  • The risk of subsidence or landslip caused by geological faults or mine workings
  • Ground water levels and flows
  • The presence of substructures, drain services and their effects on the foundations
  • Chemicals aggressive to concrete
  • The location of trees
  • Gas emissions

 RISK ASSESSMENT OF LAND

A desktop assessment should always be carried out and the results analysed and understood. Foundations will cost a considerable amount of money if they go wrong. A house builder does not always appreciate the amount of money that can be spent on something that is always covered up, similar to the drainage system. Remedial works to foundations will prove very expensive and in some cases putting an existing foundation right may cost as much as the whole build. Foundations are only put into place once and they must be correct. Time and design at this early stage is something that every Self Builder has to consider and implement.