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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > November 2019 > Foundation OPTIONS

Foundation OPTIONS

Your bespoke home will have unique requirements, but so will the ground you’re building on. Tim Doherty looks at the different foundation solutions

Foundations spread the weight of a building over the ground to maintain stability and prevent unexpected movement in the superstructure. They are generally wider than the ground wall thickness and anchored deep down where the subsoils are more compressed and have a higher bearing capacity.

Key principles

Site levels, vegetation, sub-soil and building’s weight need to be considered to design the appropriate foundations. It is commonplace for contractors to include a standard type and depth in their quotations and to worry about the actual depths when the job starts. However, prudent self builders will evaluate site variables in advance to understand the most suitable foundation before work begins.

Remember that the foundations need to carry the load of the structure itself, as well as you, your furniture and the weather (ie snow on the roof). The weight of your building is important, but the bearing capacity of the subsoils is, too. Different makeups have different capabilities. With soft silty or sandy clay, you’re likely to need a reinforced and engineered solution. Compact sandy and granular soils should support most houses at modest depths and average widths, with a safe bearing capacity of circa 100kN/m² (a measure of force used to calculate loads).

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About Build It

Plan, design and build your dream home with practical advice and inspiration from Build It magazine. The November 2019 edition includes: - Britain's Best Homes of 2019 - The Build It Awards Nominations! - The Build It Education House - The Ultimate Guide to Heating Your Home - Expert Design Ideas to save you £100,000 - How to Win Planning Permission ...And more!