The Concrete foundation is the most popular nowadays. There are houses built on rocks as you will find in mountainous and rocky areas. But in areas that have loamy or clay soils, builders must use strong bases like metal frames or concrete slaps. Here are 4 easy steps you need to know, that your builder will follow in constructing your house. In
Note that in Nigeria, the Government would likely demolish your structure if they realize that you built without a professional (see here for more). You can read this article on the Daily trust for more on the Nigerian building code. These steps below are not meant to replace the use of a professional building engineer in your construction project, but should you find yourself isolated in a remote location, you will need this article.
Step 1 – Prepare the Ground for Concrete
You would have decided the size and height of the building you want to erect. This would determine the thickness of the concrete foundation you are about to lay. Now, you need to get the ground ready to install it. Clear the area of any large stones, tree branches and other disruptive objects, and then excavate a space twice the depth of the foundation you want to install. Using a shovel in this case can strain your back, but without excavation equipment, it would suffice.
Step 2 – Work and Cover the soil
This can be done with a rented compactor. Keep checking your surface as you go over it with the level and add soil back if needed. Follow up with a loose, even layer of sand or gravel over the area. This will prevent moisture from seeping up through the ground while you lay your concrete foundation slab. Then, lay some polyethylene as a waterproof membrane over the layer of sand or gravel.
Step 2 – Build a Frame for the Concrete Foundation
Construct a wooden form out of 2×4 lumber that encircles the excavated site according to your specific structure’s necessary dimensions. Make sure you have screed rails on the opposite and exterior sides of this perimeter. Then, lay a straightedge (a 2×4 or other long and flat material) across the expanse of your frame, ultimately resting on the screed rails. Support these rails with metal stakes so they stay firmly in place after the concrete is poured. Place them so that the bottom of the straightedge sits at the level where the top of your slab will be.
Step 3 – Mix and Pour the Concrete
Now you are now ready to start working with the actual concrete towards the foundation. Take a wheelbarrow or bucket and fill it with the proper mixture of concrete and water. Keep a close eye on your consistency and adjust it as needed. Begin pouring it into your foundation frame. As the concrete fills the space, slide your 2×4 straight edge across the screed rails to level the surface while it’s still wet. Once all the excess concrete has been removed and your concrete house foundation is leveled, remove the screed rails and straightedge.
Step 4 – Finishing Up
Use hand trowels or power trowels to remove flaws in the smooth texture of the concrete. This must be done while the concrete is still wet and malleable, so get to it as soon as you can. Once you have completed this step, leave the foundation to dry and cure. Different types of concrete require different amounts of time to cure, so follow any instructions given on your mix for the best results. Also, concrete will cure better if the surface is kept moist while it sets.
By: DIY Staff, edited.