Archive for October, 2010


Our foundation work continues.  We decided to install a slab-on-grade foundation rather than a crawl space.  And we never intended to have a basement.  Why the change?  To install radiant heating.  Now, I always wanted to have heated floors in the bathroom.   But the idea of having all the floors heated hadn’t cross our minds.  Until we talked to our builder.  It is quite common to have radiant heating in the homes in that area.   And apparently there is a greater chance of mold with a crawl space.  So, we opted for slab-on-grade and radiant heating.

So, what is a slab-on-grade foundation?  According to Wikipedia (if you put much stock in the accuracy of that website), it is a “shallow foundation whereby the concrete slab that is to serve as the foundation is formed by a mold set into the ground.  The concrete is then place in the mold leaving no space between the ground and the structure.”  So what does this mean?

If you will remember a previous post, I showed pictures of the foundation.  I commented on how it looked like the outline of our house.  That would be the “mold.”  Once that is in place, the soil is filled in around it, then the slab is poured. 

Above is a cross-section of this type of foundation provided by our builder.  The foundation wall and the 2″ of foam you saw in previous pictures.  The soil is filled in, then the plumbing is roughed in.  Above that is 8″ of pebbles followed by foam then 4″ of concrete.  What does it look like?


Pouring the concrete–the orange “mesh” is, I think, the coils for the radient heat. 

Smoothing the concrete

Finishing detail

Although it looks like a martian has landed on our foundation, the red tubes are for the hot water and the blue for the cold water–all part of the radiant heating system.  I don’t know how this all works, but I will do some research and write a post at some point about it. 

Or perhaps I can entice someone out there to give an explanation of how radient heating works.


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Look what showed up to help the builders!!

They were right across the street from our property, munching on the foliage.

They’d had enough work for one day.

I can’t wait to see what else shows up for work!!

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Documenting the foundation digging in pictures.

Step 1:  staking–can you see the stakes and flags?

Step 2: preparing to dig.  It looks like they stripped away all the lines from the staking.  How do they know where the lines are now?  I don’t know; it’s a mystery.

Step 3:  form work.  From what I gather, these forms are built along the lines of the foundation then the concrete is poured into them.  Kinda like an outline to the floor plan.

Step 4: more form work.  You can see the outline of the house taking shape.  Pretty cool.  I was flipping between this picture and the floor plan seeing what is where.  Fun!

Step 5: water proofing the foundation.  That’s the black stuff.

Step 6:  more waterproofing and other work. 

Step 7:  insulation

What’s up next?  I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.  I’ll keep posting pictures.

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