How To Dig A Foundation for Concrete

How To Dig A Foundation For Concrete

Are you planning on adding onto your home or are you looking to construct a new home? If so, there is a good chance that you already know that you are going to have to dig and form a concrete foundation. While concrete foundations can be poured into any part of the home, it is absolutely vital that you make sure the foundation is dug and poured properly.

This will ensure that you get a stable floor that will provide you years and years of reliability. In fact, the stability of the concrete foundation can affect the stability and integrity of your entire home or building structure. As you can see, the proper digging and pouring of the foundation is critical, but what you might not know is that the process is fairly easy with the right tools and information.


Tools Needed

    • Tape measure
    • Shovel
    • Backhoe (optional depending on size and depth)
    • Compactor
    • Soil tester

Step 1 – Examining The Site And Soil Conditions

You probably already have a site selected for your project. However, you might not have the right foundation selected. The type of foundation that you need to use is going to depend on the area and the soil conditions of that area, as this can also affect the digging process.

For instance, shallow foundations are usually constructed in areas, where the soil levels are good and the ground surface is hard and level. Shallow foundations usually are not more than three feet deep and are usually utilized for smaller projects, like building a walkway or patio.

Deep foundations on the other hand are completely different, as they are utilized when the soil conditions are unstable or when you are building on a hill. Deep foundations are always more than three feet deep and can even vary in depth in some areas. These foundations are ideal for sheds and detached garages.


Step 2 – Determining The Size

Now that you know what type of foundation you are going to build, you are ready to work out the size. First, you will have to calculate how deep you need to dig. The thickness of your slab will really depend on the type of the building structure you are constructing.

Garages and house extensions will require a much thicker foundation. Take a tape measure and measure out the entire area to make sure that you have enough size for the structure that you are building.

Depending on where you are located, you might have to end up knock down some trees or moving some other objects.


Step 3 – Starting The Excavation Process

During the actual digging and excavation of the foundation you will need to dig down twice the thickness of your slab.

For instance, if your slab is going to be three inches thick, this means that you need to dig down six inches deep. If your slab is going to be four inches thick, then you will need to dig down eight inches.


Step 4 – Clearing The Hole Of Debris

After you have the hole dug, you are going to need to clean and clear it of debris. Make sure that all stones, rocks, and pebbles are removed from the area. Once the area is clear and free of debris, you will need to compact the soil with a compactor.

These items can be rented at any local hardware store. After the soil is good and compacted you will want to place sand or gravel in the hole, which will help with drainage and prevent water from affecting the slab in the future.


Step 5 – Laying A Proper Barrier

You are now pretty much done with all the digging and backbreaking work. Once you have the hole filled with sand and gravel, you will need to select a barrier material.

This material will protect the concrete floor, as it prevents moisture from seeping upwards and eventually reaching the concrete.

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