Tilson Homes
Jan 14, 2021

Designing Your Foundation Prior to Pouring Concrete

Construction Practices

Your foundation establishes the footprint of your home and we take every step necessary to ensure its durability and longevity. From geotechnical investigations to advanced techniques to ensure moisture stays out, our team prioritizes precision when designing your home's foundation.

Here's what you can expect to see on your property when we're getting the foundation ready for concrete to be poured.

Dirt Work and Form Boards

There are several steps that need to be done before pouring concrete for your foundation. The first of these steps is performing dirt work and placing the outer form boards for your foundation. At this point you’ll notice temporary form boards outlining the foundation. These are used to hold shape as concrete is being poured. The boards are filled with a select fill sand and clay mixture, or sometimes sandbags, depending on your specific land and home needs. Once concrete is poured, the form boards are removed and reused on a future build. 


After the dirt work is done and the form boards are in place, plumbers will come out and place sewer lines and pipes for sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. These sewer lines will run within your foundation and lead back to your septic or sewer system.

Make Ready Stage

Engineers design, based on the results of your soil analysis, the exact depth, width, and spacing of the grade beams within your foundation. These beams are designed to distribute the load of your entire home over the soil underneath. Your post-tension cables, which will be tightened to around 29,000 PSI, are also installed at this time. These cables, once tightened, take advantage of the compression strength of concrete partnered with the tensile strength of steel.  The engineer may call for additional actions like hard points, which are embedments into the undisturbed soil beneath your foundation, or rebar to help reinforce parts of the foundation that require extra support. 

Polyethylene Vapor Barrier

A 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier is placed on top of the fill. This vapor barrier serves as a way of protecting your foundation from moisture accumulation in the soil underneath your home. Not only does the vapor barrier protect the integrity of your foundation, it also prevents moisture from affecting your flooring.

Other Things You May Notice

You may also find small form boards on top of the vapor barrier. These frames are where your showers will be. We mark these areas to let the concrete team know to drop the foundation level there. This allows the tile installer to build a custom pan for your shower that ensures proper drainage. You may also see a black coating on some of the pipes running through the foundation. This coating, called mastic, is used to protect your pipes from the abrasive concrete. 

Once these steps are complete, your foundation is ready for concrete and you are one step closer to moving into your dream home. 

To learn more about Tilson's foundation practices, visit our page dedicated to all things foundation related. 

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