Building On A Solid Foundation - Concrete Slab vs. Basement Foundation, Foundation Water Damage"Building On A Solid Foundation The first step in any new home construction is to build a solid foundation. The foundation and footings of a home are essential to the success of your new home. Footings anchor the home to the ground, support the foundation and distribute the weight of the house. They are basically the legs to your house. Foundation is responsible for supporting the substructure of the home and it works hand and hand with existing soil conditions. The scary truth is that if the soil is not accurately studied and compensated for, your foundation could fail and the house may be affected by a shaky ground. Concrete Slab vs. Basement Foundation Foundations are usually made of poured concrete. Depending upon a home's design and soil conditions, the foundation will be built as either a concrete slab-on-grade or as a basement foundation. Slab-on-grade is commonly used in earthquake zones of the United States. Basement foundations are expected by homeowners in the Northeast, but it is becoming a fading trend. Basements are commonly perceived as �better� then slab-on-grade, but in reality there really isn�t much difference. Basements, however, are more expensive to build. But in areas where land costs are outrageous, basements are used to open up more space. They are often finished and turned into recreational rooms, gyms and entertainment centers for the family. Also, if the lot site slopes it may allow for a walkout configuration which will offer more natural light, good ventilation and will make the home feel larger. Preventing Foundation Damage From Water Regardless of whether you have a basement foundation or a slab-on-grade foundation, one of the most important things a new homeowner needs to know is that water is the number one enemy to any building's foundation. Your house can experience movement if you do not properly drain away from your foundation. Once the initial drainage is established, your job is to keep water away from the foundation. A good rule of thumb is to drain water at a distance of ten feet away from your foundation. Keep in mind; if your water proofing and drainage system isn�t installed correctly then you are still in trouble. There�s a number of excellent water proofing and drainage systems that ensure a high quality moisture barrier and drainage, but improperly installed systems can cause serious problems to your foundation. This is why it is smart to buy a new home from a builder with a long-standing reputation. Building a home is a difficult process so you will be more pleased with a home built from someone who knows what they are doing. The first signs of trouble usually include small shrinkage hairline or spider web cracks to a new foundation. If the crack or cracks are in an excess of 1/4 inch thick you should consult an engineer. If you notice cracks in mortar joints of veneer such as the outside brick of your home, or even cracks in the interior drywall, they do not necessarily indicate a faulty foundation. However, it is recommended that you still have these cracks inspected by the builder just to be on the safe side. Also, horizontal cracks can be a sheer point in the wall and they should be checked carefully if they are bulging inward. Hiring An Inspector It is definitely worth hiring an independent inspector to have the foundation inspected before the building stage begins. Unfortunately, most homeowners don't enlist in an independent inspector until the final stage of building or until they have problems. For a couple hundreds dollars an independent inspector will educate the consumer on what to expect, what to look for, as well as make sure the foundation is built right. This could save you a lot of money in the long run. It's not unusual for the footings of a foundation to be off by a couple of inches. Working with a reputable builder, hiring an independent inspector at each of the three stages of building, and taking care to protect the foundation are the best ways to ensure that you are building on a solid foundation. It is not wise to take this issue lightly either, unless you don�t have a problem with your house moving and shaking into the ground. Looking For More Information On Custom Home Building? Custom home building is a great investment. You'll want to make sure you are choosing the right custom home builder for your new house and your budget. We offer Free Custom Home Building Price Quotes from local, prescreened home builders. "
Saving Money While Building
There are several ways to save money during the building process. You may not see the savings up front, but over the long run your pocketbook will definitely appreciate it if you take the time to carefully consider the choices you make during the construction of your new house.
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Stock Plans vs. Custom Home Plans
The building process requires you to address many different aspects. Such things as where to build, what size home to build, what features to include, what items to include, what costs should be included in the budget, what the design/build timeframes should be, and who will build the home, are just a few of the important aspects that need special attention.
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Choosing Your Lot
Investigating a lot is a fundamental and challenging activity in the organization and execution of construction projects. It is a step-by-step process that includes soil testing, identifying environmental concerns, and how utilities will run within the home. Each step will be carefully investigated and eventually will go through a process of approval.
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