Tips & Tricks

Where It All Begins: Laying a Concrete Foundation in 7 Steps

Foundations form a stable base for homes and outbuildings, so it’s important that they are installed correctly. Making even a minor mistake during the concrete laying process can lead to expensive structural damage later down the line. So property owners who plan to lay their own foundations should educate themselves in advance. They can get started by checking out the simple, seven-step guide to pouring a concrete foundation below.

Check Out this 7 Steps for Laying a Concrete Foundation

Concrete foundation 7 step guide

1. Decide on a Concrete Foundation Type

Property owners can lay either shallow foundations or deep foundations depending on what types of structures will be placed on them and where they will be located.

Shallow foundations, typically used for small, simple projects, are built on the ground level and extend no more than three feet into the ground. Deep foundations are used for more complex projects like large sheds and detached garages. Property owners may need to lay a deep foundation if the soil conditions are poor.

Once property owners have decided on a design, they can check out concrete buying options from Frasercon to get the materials they’ll need to complete the project.

2. Set the Footings

Footings should be set two feet across with an additional two feet on either side. This helps to properly space the formwork and gives workers the space they need to lay the foundation safely and easily.

This step will look very different for slab foundations, which are best left to professionals.

3. Build the Forms

The forms for the concrete around the footings should be built using two-inch by ten-inch boards. Situate these boards around where the footings will go and make sure they fit the planned foundation shape and size. Those laying down pier foundations can place separate forms around each footing. Property owners who want to build foundation walls will need to lay forms around the entire perimeter of the planned building.

4. Square and Level the Forms

There’s no way to adjust the forms after the concrete has been poured, so it’s important for property owners to square and level them in advance.

The forms also need to be well-built and firmly secured in place since concrete is very heavy and could displace poorly built or poorly secured forms.

5. Mix the Concrete Foundation

Property owners who will be mixing their own concrete can now get started on this process. Just pour the dry cement into a wheelbarrow and add water to the mix very slowly, stirring constantly. Only use enough water to wet the cement without making it too soupy and make sure to stir the mixture thoroughly.

6. Pour the Concrete Foundation

The mixed concrete will start to harden quickly, so be ready to start pouring the foundation immediately upon finishing the mixing process. Just pour the concrete into the form, then use a trowel to level it off and smooth it out. Leave the concrete to dry for at least 24 hours.

7. Finish the Concrete

Once the concrete has thoroughly dried, remove the forms. The concrete foundation must be kept wet for the next several days to avoid cracking, so plan to soak it with a hose two to three times per day. It’s also wise to cover the area if a storm is approaching since rain can cause depressions in the concrete.

The Bottom Line

While pouring concrete isn’t easy. It is a task that most property owners can perform for themselves when preparing sites for sheds and other outbuildings. Gather all the tools in advance and purchase high-quality concrete to ensure the best results. Follow the steps outlined above to a success project.

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