Concrete Foundation

Our standard wall height is 13 courses (8’-8”) of 12” block. For our clients who intend to finish off the basement area we recommend a 14-course wall height (9’-4”). This allows a tiled or drywall ceiling to be “dropped in” at an 8’-0” height, just below plumbing and heating mechanicals.

Concrete footings which measure 20”-22” in width x 12” in thickness are placed under all outside walls on top of a leveled, excavated ground surface. Rigid plastic 4” diameter pipe with perforations is placed both on the outside and inside of all footings. The purpose of this footer drain tile is to collect any groundwater arriving either from above or below the basement floor slab. “Bleeder” pipes through the footings every 20’ – 30’ connect the outside and inside drain tile. Water from the system is removed by either a pump located in an inside basement sump or drained by gravity to a roadside ditch or catch basin.

We only use 12” wide block on all our foundations. The protruding steel rod will be encased in concrete to form a pilaster. This is repeated every 6 – 8 feet to achieve additional strength. Additionally, horizontal wire reinforcing known by its brand name, Durawall, is placed by our mason every 24” of wall height around the entire foundation perimeter. This reinforcement serves to minimize wall cracks caused by shrinkage of concrete. It also adds strength to entire wall sections by “tying together” individual blocks to work together in resisting lateral earth pressures.

We also occasionally make use of solid poured concrete foundation walls. When wall heights exceed 10’, greater strength is required and this is most economically achieved by a 10” or 12” solid concrete wall reinforced with horizontal and vertical steel rods.

Our foundations are waterproofed with the Tuff-N-Dri system offered through Foundation Systems, Inc. of Akron. The Tuff-N-Dri waterproofing system combines a sprayed-on elastic membrane with Warm-N-Dri protection, drainage and insulation board. This fiber board relieves hydrostatic pressure on the wall, drains water, and insulates. It moves the cold surface to the outside, a big factor in eliminating condensation and mildew. A fifteen year guarantee is provided with the Tuff-N-Dri system.

Even more important to keeping a basement dry is the foundation backfill process. We firmly believe a foundation should be backfilled with washed gravel (not dirt) from the basement floor level all the way up to within 2”-3” of the finished ground level outside of the home. This does several things. Any surface water which makes its way up against the foundation (from a misdirected yard swale or from water cascading over a clogged roof gutter) and which penetrates the top 2”-3” of lawn surface can easily drain through this gravel down to the perforated footing tile. This is especially important, if not critical, with soils having high clay content. Secondly, this type of drainage prevents trapped water and saturated soil next to the foundation from building up horizontal hydrostatic pressure against the wall. This pressure will crack walls, cause leaks, and in a worst case, collapse the wall inward.

Despite these facts, most local building codes require only 18” of coverage from the bottom up. The additional cost for full height backfill is approximately $3,000. For this reason, most builders provide only the minimum coverage required by codes.



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Architectural Design and Site Planning · Excavation · Concrete Foundation · Framing Interior Woodwork and Cabinetry


P.O.Box 250   Uniontown, Oh 44685   TEL: 330.699.9600
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