How Foundation Forms Are Used In New Home Construction

Construction & Contractors Blog

All types of buildings must begin with a foundation. A common foundation is a basic concrete slab. This is the type of foundation that's often used when constructing new homes. However, homes in flood zones may be built on piers rather than a slab to keep them above the water. A third type of foundation is one that is made with insulated concrete forms. These insulate the foundation and house from frost and freezing temperatures. Here's a look at how forms are used for the three types of foundations.

Wood Forms For Poured Concrete

A poured concrete foundation is usually quick and easy to install. The soil is compacted first and covered with gravel. Then, the footings are dug around the area where the foundation will be installed. The footings of a foundation are trenches that are filled with concrete and reinforced to stabilize the concrete slab. Before the footings or foundation are poured, forms must be made to hold the concrete in place long enough for it to cure. Wood is generally used for house foundation forms. The wood is placed around the perimeter of the foundation and adjusted to be level. Stakes are driven next to the wood to hold it in place. The stakes give the wood forms strength so they don't move when the concrete is poured over the gravel to create the foundation. While wood is a common form material for constructing houses, there are other types of forms for commercial building applications that are made of steel since they need to be stronger to stabilize larger amounts of concrete.

Insulated Concrete Forms

Insulated concrete forms are becoming more popular as builders make more energy efficient homes. These are made of a rigid foam insulating material and designed like large hollow blocks. They are placed along the perimeter of the foundation and filled with concrete. Unlike wood forms, these insulated forms remain in place. They form the inside and outside walls of the house and with the concrete between the insulated walls, they make the foundation resistant to frost and freezing temperatures.

Wood Forms For Piers

Wood forms for a foundation built on piers are made in the same way for a slab foundation. The difference is that rather than surrounding one large slab, the wood forms surround each individual pier, so multiple forms must be prepared and installed before pouring concrete into the hole. The hole may also be lined with a fiber tube form to guide the concrete mix and hold it in place while it cures.

Foundation forms are simple things, but they perform an extremely important function when it comes to new home construction. Without a stable and secure foundation, the structure of a home could be in peril. The forms hold concrete where it needs to be so it can stay put while it cures in place to give the home a solid base for construction.

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22 March 2018

Those Cold, January Nights

When I was in college, I lived in an old house just south of the university campus with five other girls. When we came back from Christmas break, the heater was broken. The beginning of January was the coldest time of the year, and because it was the weekend, the heating company couldn't come fix it for a few days. My roommates and I pulled our mattresses into the front room and slept all together to keep warm. Two weeks later, our heater broke again! That time we ended up getting a completely new furnace. Needless to say, we got to be good friends with the heating contractor that month, and it was a good experience that led to the creation of this blog.