Foundations and Concrete Structures: Introduction / Table of Contents

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My home is a study in foundations. Built 250 years ago, the original house sits on a stone foundation that’s in surprisingly good shape thanks to the sandy soil surrounding it. On the west side is a bathroom addition built over a crawl space with a concrete-block foundation. To the south is a new two-story addition that rests securely on a walk-out basement with poured concrete walls. But sadly the north side of my house—an strange 4-ft. by 20-ft. extension of the gable end—has no foundation at all, unless you count loose stones put on top of dirt. The seeds and marbles roll toward that side of the house. and in the winter, cold air and field mice come in over there. Studying my house, I’ve concluded two things:

(1) any foundation is better than no foundation at all

(2) my next project isn’t going to be much fun!

Foundation work is not the glamorous side of home building. it's hard, dirty work. But it’s also the work upon which all other work rests, and so a good foundation is critical to every home. and believe me, you don’t want to be repairing a foundation; you want to get it right the first time. This book will help. It contains 14 articles originally published in Fine Homebuilding magazine. Written by builders from all over the country, these articles are quite literally advice from the trenches.

Table of Contents

Introduction (this page)

1: Concrete Basics

2: Building Foundations

  • Pouring Concrete Slabs
  • Building a Block Foundation
  • Forming and Pouring Footings
  • Forming and Pouring Foundations
  • Insulated Concrete Forms

3: Waterproofing

4: Retrofitting Foundations

  • Foundation Drainage
  • When Block Foundations Go Bad
  • Retrofitting a Foundation

Prev: From Foundations to the Ground Floor Slab

Next: Concrete Basics: Avoiding Common Masonry Mistakes

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