Building on Solid Ground: Foundation Excavation Process

Author: Touré Foster

Posted in: Excavation

Building on Solid Ground: Foundation Excavation Process

It’s very exciting to see a new building go up. Whether you are building a new home, business facility, or involved in a community project, there is a certain joy and fulfillment that comes as you progress from blueprint to ribbon cutting. However, the pouring the foundation can seem to take a long time when nothing seems to get done. It’s important to know the foundation excavation process so you can be aware of what’s happening.

Site Clearance and Preparation

Before the foundation excavation can begin, the construction team will need to clear the site. They will need to clear vegetation like trees or underbrush. And depending on the site, they will also need to clear objects like stumps, deadwood, large rocks or the remains of a previous structure.

Additionally, the roots of trees will be removed a foot lower than the foundation will be dug. Any issues created by removing objects that would interfere with the excavation or laying of the foundation must be filled and compacted appropriately.

Excavating For Foundation

Before the actual excavation process begins, the site is “set out” using wooden pegs and strings to mark the area which is to be excavated. The level of depth will also be predetermined by the general contractor.

Excavation is the equipment-heavy task of removing the earth from the allotted area in order to make room for the foundation. Depending on the depth and hardness of the soil, the trench may need to be reinforced as earth is removed. If the earth is extremely loose, planking will be put in place to hold the sides until the foundation can be poured.

Pouring the Foundation

Once the excavation is done, the foundation will be poured. The concrete (sometimes a mixture, depending on the use of the building) is poured into troughs which help to contain the mixture as it forms and shapes it into a proper and workable structure. The curing of the foundation takes from 3 to 10 days. Some masonry work can be done in the meantime.

Foundation Excavation Process – Patience is Key

Site clearing, excavation, and foundation pouring can take up a significant part of the building process. It’s important to stay patient while you wait for the foundation to be completed.

Although it doesn’t seem like much is being accomplished, the foundation is absolutely vital to a long-lasting and safe building. If a residential house takes 15 weeks (a conservative estimate) the first 5 or 6 weeks will likely involve foundation work. Stay patient, the more visually appealing part is just around the corner.

The foundation is key to any building. New England Enterprises of Marlborough, MA is just crazy enough to enjoy the usually mundane process of foundation excavation. We offer foundations for residential and commercial projects, basement excavation, site preparation, and foundation drainage systems.

If you would like more information about our services, please contact us.  A fully licensed and insured excavation contractor, our team of professionals would love to help you.