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A home, building, or other structure is only as strong as the foundation it sits upon. The foundation of a structure will ultimately determine how well and how long it will remain standing and functional. Since a foundation relies upon the soil beneath and around it to maintain its strength, it is crucial to analyze the soil upon which a structure will be built upon.
A great portion of building any structure will rely upon solid and thorough engineering. The foundation of a building must be designed to transfer the weight of the building into the ground. Typically, a home builder will have soil classification and strength tests ran on the soil they plan to build on. An engineer must closely study these soil tests to determine the safe bearing capacity of the soil.
Soil mechanics play a pivotal role in the design and building processes. Foundations must be built upon the strongest soil of an area, which often means digging down to get to the strongest soil surface. In most cases the deeper a surface is dug, the stronger the soil becomes. The object is to find the strongest surface that will not be adversely affected by the water table at any point. In cases where the soil is at risk of shifting or eroding, we bring in the experts at TerraFirma Foundation Systems to perform an assessment on anchoring and helical pier solutions that will ensure a reliable foundation.
In addition to testing soil bearing strengths, an engineer must also factor the effects of moisture and the soils drainage capabilities. Normal water tables are considered as well as the potential for water to rise above the normal tables. When water rises and stays above its normal table it can wreak havoc on a foundation and cause the soil to erode. This leads to foundation cracking and slumping.
Besides poor choice of foundation design, soil erosion is the number one reason that many foundations fail. Foundations are categorized into two basic types which are shallow foundations and deep foundations. Under each of these categories there are other styles of foundations that have been developed to accommodate soil types and building requirements. The style of foundation is generally chosen based upon the type of soil it will be built on as well as the weight and style of building that will rest upon it.
Under the shallow foundation category there are five different foundation styles. These styles are: spread footing or open trench, grillage foundations, raft foundations, stepped foundations, and inverted arch foundations. Each of these foundation styles were developed by engineers and have been proven to be suitable for shallow soil depths. Deep foundation styles are the pile foundation, well foundation, and the caisson foundation. These styles were created for deeper dug surfaces.
Foundations are mostly made of concrete but also contain other materials such as steel rods and reinforcements. Even though the materials used in a foundation are strong, it is essential for builders to make necessary soil amendments and place foundations on soil depths that are capable of bearing the load weight of a building. Sometimes foundations fail due to unforeseen circumstances such as flash flooding and other natural disasters. When this happens the failed foundation will need to be immediately repaired and reinforced by a professional.
There are many builders out there who claim that they can do great work on your home, but in most cases there is no way for them to prove this fact because they do not have the credentials and licenses that are needed to make your home look beautiful. You must trust in the highly visible and wise contractors that work with home builders every day. You want to find a company that is credentialed, and you want to find craftsmen who are licensed. The combination of these two properties is going to allow you to get the best work done on your house.
Credentials and References
The credentials that you are looking for are credentials that show that the builder is qualified to do the work that you want them to do. The best businesses are going to be verified by many different trade organizations, and they are going to be certified by the local chamber of commerce of better business association. You want to make sure that you are looking at a builder who offers you the credentials that you deserve in someone who is going to work on your home.
References are important because your builder must have done work with other people in the past. There are many people who are looking for builders that do the work, but you need to know that the builder is certified. There are licenses for many different trades, and there are certification tests that you can take to make sure you qualify to do the work that must be done. Your builder needs to have these certifications, or they need to hire craftsmen who have these certifications.
You also want to read online reviews to make sure that you understand what the builder is all about. These reviews are going to show you how the builder does their work, and you can learn if there are problems with their operation. Every builder has been reviewed online, and it is your job to figure out where those reviews are.
You have many chances to make the most of your hire of a builder, and you need to follow these steps to find the right one. A contractor has to be a visible business person who has the credentials and references you are looking for. They need to have favorable reviews online, and they must hire only the most qualified craftsmen to work in your home.