building a house part 2
building a house part 2
What is Concrete Footing in the Construction of the House?
Here we talk about concrete footing foundation, and we cover matters and details of a strip foundation, types of footing, strip footing, a slab of concrete cost, isolated footing, strap footing, concrete piers, pad footing, raft footing, and column footing, etc.
New House Footings
Phase 1: What Are the Different Kinds of House Footings?
You should understand some important principles such as what are the different types of foundations. What is the strongest foundation for a house? What are the three types of foundations?
There are several types and sizes of footings to choose from and the one that you decide to use depends on the soil conditions, and how far down you need to go below the ground to protect from frost.
Note that you can protect against frost by also using good drainage around the foundation, which guides the water away from the building.
Selecting and placing the footings for your home is essential because the footings receive the house load through posts or foundation walls, which are then transmitted to the soil.
When we placed the footings, we made sure that the distance between the footing base and the finished grade was at least the depth of any anticipated frost penetration. See the diagram below for the minimum depths for different soil conditions.
Building code requirements for your region should be consulted when preparing to place footings. Before we started with our footings we talked to our local building official to discuss local soil conditions; that way we could plan what we needed more accurately.
Foundation Footings: Wall Footings
Here we talk about column footings in the home building process in detail. Do we answer some questions such as what are footings for walls?
How deep should a footing be for a wall? Where should wall footing be placed? How do you build a wall footing?
What Determines Wall Footing Size and Thickness?
Side forms should be used for footings unless the soil conditions and design allow for sharply cut trenches. When measuring the distance for wall footing placement, it is important to make sure that the footings project beyond each side of the wall by at least 4 in.
(100 mm), with a thickness of no less than the projection beyond the wall. Footings should never be less than 4 in. (100 mm) thick.
In cases where a preserved wood foundation is being used, continuous wood footings are usually more practical and economical.
Before going ahead with finalizing the footings, you should check to see if the excavation is even. If you find that it is not and that in some places the excavation is too deep, a compacted granular mat can be used to level it. Note that excavated material should never be used as a base.
In our case, the soil had a low load-bearing capacity and so we had to use wider reinforced footings. Using a key at the top of the footings was recommended by our builder.
Keys help the foundation wall resist lateral pressures from the earth pushing against it. Bring the idea up to your builders to see how it can work into the plan. Any pipe tranches that are directly under wall footings need to be backfilled with concrete.
New House Construction Column Footings
We must understand the fundamentals of building construction basics such as how do you make column footings? How deep do footings need to be for a column? What is the minimum size of column footing? And how do you find the column footing size?
We make it easy for you by providing column footing detail, footing size for columns, and reinforcement details. We explain all that with colfootingsting design examples such as detailed drawings and plans.
You should have a better idea at the end about all kinds of Column Footing such as simple footing, combined, rectangular, and isolated column footing.
These footings can vary in size depending on the allowable soil pressure and the load they support. Footings should be placed so that the members they support are centered. Common sized include:
- One-story house: 4.3 sq. ft. (0.4 m2) (about 25 x 24 in. (640 x 640 mm))
- Two-story house: 8 sq. ft. (0.75 m2)(34 x 34 in.)(870 x 870 mm)).
** A minimum thickness of 4 in. (100 mm).
Stepped Footings Foundation
So what is step footing in construction? And what is used for? How do you make a step up footing? What are the stepped footing building requirements and regulations? What is the maximum height of a stepped footing step?
Stepped Footing Detail
Stepped footings are needed when there is unstable soil, where there is a steeply sloping site, and in some cases, they are used with split-level houses.
The vertical part of the step should be placed at the same time as the footing. The bottom is always placed on undisturbed so or compacted granular fill.
Sometimes, where there is a very steep slope, more than one step is needed. The vertical connection between footings at the step should be of concrete at least 6 in. (150 mm) thick, and the same width as the footings.
The House Foundation 101:
What part of the house is the foundation? What are the foundation requirements? What is the strongest foundation for a house?
Phase 1: Foundations: How to Build the Foundation of a House?
Most often, materials such as concrete blocks, preserved wood, cast-in-place concrete, or steel foundations are used for foundation building. The foundation is the stronghold of the house; it carries the floor, wall, roof, and other building loads, which include weight from the occupants and other external weights such as snow.
It is wise to consult with local builders to see what practices they used since you should use proven methods when creating the foundation. At times, unstable soils that you come across can change the construction plan for your foundation.
What Are the Two Parts of the House Foundation?
Preparing the formwork for the walls is a very important step. It must be well-braced, tight, and tied in a way so that it can withstand the pressure of the concrete.
You can either build formwork from lumber or plywood with the appropriate framing members (built-in sections) or use reusable forms.
Reusable forms are made of plywood or steel. We used steel form ties to hold the two sides of the framework together, and once the concrete was set, we could break off the ties.
Steel ties and separators were also used to hold the forms together and to maintain the width needed. If you decide to use wood spacer blocks, you need to remove them from the concrete.
There are also new types of products being manufactured in the USA, and Canada that can ease the process of foundation building.
These new advances make it easy to work with formwork and insulation for concrete walls and can eliminate steps from the process when building your own house.
What is the Standard Size of Foundation?
The thickness we used for our foundation wall was 6 in. (150 mm) but the thickness can vary depending on the depth of the foundation below grade.
Typical thickness ranges from 6 to 12 in. (150 mm – 300 mm). When working with the formwork for drainage, it is best to use a coarse granular mat or crushed stone around the perimeter and under the basement slab.
Our builder spread the layer of stone around the footings in advance so that there was a dry, clean surface to work on.
Once the concrete has set and acquired enough strength to support the loads, you can remove the forms. Typically, this takes about 2 days but one week is ideal especially when it is cold outside.
When you remove the forms, all of the recesses and holes from the form ties have to be sealed with dampproofing material or cement mortar.
At times, uncontrolled cracking can occur in the concrete slabs and walls. To help prevent this, you can use steel reinforced rods or vertical control joints that are properly placed to help minimize the cracks.
When using control joints, put them in places where there is natural weakness (such as planes of windows, doors, etc.).
Preserved Wood Foundations
Wood foundations are best suited for low-rise dwellings or multiple dwellings. Make sure that the wood you use has been properly treated; look for a certification mark showing the material was treated according to local certifications.
The size, species, and grade of studs and thickness of plywood depend on stud spacing and backfill height, and the number of stories that the house will have.
Typically, when using a wood foundation to build your home, the construction follows the same methods used in house framing with some added bracing requirements.
The foundation uses pressure-treated wood footings with pressure-treated bottom and top plates. All of the wood used in the foundation must be pressure treated that use chemical preservatives by your national standards.
Using properly treated wood ensures that the wood is highly resistant to decay organisms and insects.
Basement Slab: How to Floor a Basement
Phase 1: Slabs
When creating a basement floor slab certain requirements need to be met and some steps need to be followed in order.
When we were preparing our plans for the slabs, we also made sure to ventilate the basement since this allows moisture (that is created when curing the concrete) to escape.
Concrete is typically used for basement floor slabs and should be put in after the roof construction is done, the basement floor drain is in place, water and sewer lines are installed and the building is enclosed.
The slab should be sloped towards the floor drain and made to be at least 3 in. (75 mm) thick.
We built our own home and constructed the basement slab, we first installed the sewer lines. Next, we placed about 4 in. (100 mm) of gravel or crushed rock under the slab to prevent moisture from getting to the slab from the ground.
Using a sheet of polyethylene sheet, create a layer of 6 mils (0.15 mm) below the slab to dampproof the floor.
At times, there can be slight movement of the slab due to shrinkage during the drying process. You can use apre-molded joint filler to correct this.
Once the slab concrete is in place, you need to check for proper elevation. Curing should happen for at least 5 days at an air temperature of 70°F (21°C). Slabs on the ground are prepared almost the same way as basement slabs
New Construction Foundation Waterproofing
How to Build House Waterproofing Foundations? What is the best way to waterproof concrete?
Phase 1: Waterproofing and Dampproofing
How do you seal the foundation of a house? While beginning to plan for waterproofing and dampproofing, foundation drainage needs to be planned as well.
Typically, you can use drain tile to accomplish this. You will need to provide drainage in most areas around the foundations but not where there is natural, free-draining soil. Any subsurface water needs to be drained away to prevent damp basements and wet floors.
Drain tile needs to be connected with a joint pipe to a storm sewer, or another outlet where the water can be drained properly.
If this is not done properly, you will be left with poor drainage, which will then lead to water leaking into the basement.
When laying the tile, place it on solid and undisturbed soil around the footings, and needs to be covered with a minimum of 6 in. (150 mm) of coarse, clean gravel and crushed rock.
Both waterproofing and dampproofing work to combat moistures of different kinds, and they both work in different ways for different parts of the house.
Waterproofing is done during the house-building phase to help deal with severe water problems and is only needed for foundations that will be exposed to hydrostatic pressures.
If you know your home will need to incorporate some waterproofing, we recommend going to an expert, since qualified professionals will know best how to work with different water pressures.
Dampproofing foundations are done to control moisture in the soil that can move into the foundation and are also done to control the movement of moisture from concrete into interior wood frames.
Common approaches to dampproofing include polyethylene, sheet material, or a heavy coat of bituminous material. Any foundations that are waterproofed don’t need to be dampproofed; this is a great money-saving tip since it can be easy to be over careful and do both.
Any concrete that is below grade needs to be damp proofed on the exterior surface starting from the footings, all the way to the finish grade line.
Also, it is wise to check and see if the soil around the foundation is poorly drained. If this is the case, waterproofing is needed. We decided to add some additional moisture protection by also using special dense glass-fiber insulation.
Framing and Ventilation: Wood Frame House Construction
What are the three types of frame construction? How do you make a wooden frame? What wood is used for framing? What are the basic components of a wood-frame structure?
What are the wood frame construction types, and what are wood frame construction materials? What are wood frame construction advantages and disadvantages?
Phase 1: House Framing and Ventilation
Wood frame wall construction details:
There are two methods you can use to construct a wood-frame house. We used the most common method, which is the Platform method.
It is important to note that the amount of time it will take for you to complete the framing for your home will depend greatly on the weather conditions.
Unpredictable weather conditions can delay your schedule for days and weeks, so be prepared to adjust your plans.
The structural shell of your home will need to be put up, and this shell consists of the foundation, floors, walls, and roof.
Once these are in place, you can start to think about the level of insulation you will use in the different parts of the structural shell, since framing dimensions will need to be adjusted depending on your needs. Below is some more information about the two methods used:
- Balloon Method: With this method, the studs used for the exterior and interior walls are, which means that site assembly is not easy.
- Platform Method: With this method, the floor is built separately from the walls, which means you can have a sturdy solid surface to work off of. This makes putting up the walls and partitions easier. Also, the studs are only one story high, which means that calls can be easily premade or put together on the subfloor, and erected one story at a time.
After we used the platform method for your shell framing, we then started our floor framing, which used headers, sills, joists, and beams.
We made sure to have seasoned lumber for this since we want to control moisture as much as possible. You should check with your building codes to see what moisture content is acceptable for the lumber you will use with your floor frames.
Wood Frame Construction Diagram
When constructing the wall frames, this will include creating the vertical and horizontal members for exterior walls and interior partitions, also known as studs.
These studs are the nailing base for all covering materials and support of the upper floors, ceiling, and roof. Roofs can either be flat or pitched, and the slope of the roof varies depending on the house design.
Pitched roofs will typically have more of a slope, whereas flat roofs will have less of a slope. A roof slope of 1:1 fits with our healthy housing principles.
No matter which roof type you will use, ventilation needs to be incorporated into the plan. Proper insulation needs to be provided in the roof space above the insulation.
If water or moisture builds up in spaces in the roof, it can lead to damage in areas where the moisture accumulates. This is especially during cold weather.
The size of the vent you will choose depends on the slope of your roof and the way the roof is constructed. In any case, the vents should be evenly distributed on all sides of the building.
Part 2: Home Construction Mid-Stage
- Constructing Your Dream House
- Building a Home Phase 3:
- Phase 2: Construction Mid-Stage
If you have reached this stage, congratulations!
When you are working to build your own home, the experience can become overwhelming at times. But to have the ability to custom design and choose your home layout and building structures makes it all worthwhile.
I know that once we reached this stage, we had already dealt with some delays, mainly because of unpredictable weather conditions. But the team we chose was very dedicated and adjusted well to the changes in plans.
This is why it was so important to make sure you chose a team that is hard-working, flexible, and dedicated to the job. It is worth it to spend the time to choose the best possible fit for your team when you decide to build your own house.
Let’s highlight all the things you have accomplished up until this point, so you can pat yourself on the back and see how far you have come. When we reached this phase, we had to pause and take everything in.
At this point, you should have completed the following important steps when building your home:
- Getting your finances and permits in order – During this phase, you should have developed your building plan and made sure you have your money plan as well. Approval and permits would have also been put in order before the building process can begin
- Create the building layout – Here, you establish the layout of the house, and look at the property line. You also discuss site planning with your team.
- Excavation and footings – At this stage, you should begin the excavation, and make sure you have the proper equipment to do so.
- Backfill and foundations – This is the base of your home and the heart of the construction process. Making sure that you have taken your time during this stage is essential.
- Framing – Here, during the last stage of phase 1, you would have completed your framing for the shell, floor, roof, and walls.
Alright, now we move on to the next exciting phase of your soon-to-be-completed dream home! Take a step back, enjoy what you have done so far, and continue your hard work.
Installing House Windows
Phase 2: Windows
Installing House Windows and Types of House Windows
As we planned the design of our home, we chose certain doors and windows that would fit with the design theme of our home, but we also thought about efficiency and practicality.
The architect we worked with was very good and helped us choose aesthetically pleasing designs, and that were also environmentally sound to use.
Remember, windows and doors are more than just openings into the outside world, they also play an important role in several systems in the home.
They need to fit nicely with the functionality of the home, there needs to be enough space for movement and use, and it needs to go with the decor.
When building a wood-frame house, you also need to select the appropriate types and make sure they are installed properly.
Any doors or windows that are of poor quality will decrease energy conservation, which will then leave you with high energy bills. This can also happen if a high-quality door or window is not installed properly.
You will also want to think about how durable the items are, as well as how high maintenance they will be for you as a homeowner.
Different styles have different advantages and disadvantages, all of which need to be considered when building your own home.
One of the most important things we thought about when we chose our windows and doors was how energy efficient they were.
We also thought about how they could contribute to the natural light and ventilation of the home. And, of course, we thought about security and safety.
We asked ourselves, how hard would it be for someone to break into the home and how accessible are the doors and windows from the outside?
Also, windows are seen as a means to escape in the case of danger, and so they need to be designed in a way that the occupants can leave when there is a disaster.
Depending on the room, you will need different window and door sizes and designs. Some rooms will need larger windows for increased natural light, and it is common practice to have at least 10 percent of the area in living rooms and dining rooms to be covered in windows.
For bedrooms and dens, it is usually 5 percent. Something interesting that we learned about windows is that they can be a fire hazard to surrounding properties.
We were told that fires can spread from window to window, which is why there are strict codes about how big the windows can be and what percent of the room they can occupy.
Window styles and Types:
- Fixed windows
- Casement and awning windows
- Horizontal and vertical slider windows
- Single or double-hung windows
- tilt-and-turn windows
- Egress window styles
- Awning type window
- Awning type steel casement windows
- Swing type steel casement windows
Styles of Windows:
- Old r classic window styles
- Victorian windows
- French type sliding window
- Modern window type
Installing Exterior Doors
Phase 2: Installing House Doors
Which Door is Best for the Exterior of the House?
One of the most important parts of occupant safety, which ties into the healthy housing principles, is related to home security for your house.
It is important to consider these when selecting your doors for purchase. Selecting a door and hardware for the door needs to have the appropriate amount of resistance to forced entry.
That being said, the doors, like the windows, add to the external aesthetics of the home and should also be selected to match your home design.
When selecting hardware for your door, it is better to go with the higher-end ones since they will last you longer and provide the best durability and resistance to forced entry.
There are standard codes that talk about the requirements for resistance under the National Building Code. The framing of the door also plays a role in resistance to forced entry.
Adding extra screws in the drywall around the door frame will add extra resistance, and blocks should be placed between and jamb of the door and the framing to increase resistance.
You can choose from 4 common materials for your door. Fiberglass, wood, steel, and plastic. Although the wood doors are naturally solid, the other materials often have inner and outer panels that are filled with insulation.
A common mistake that people is that they only consider the style and finish of the external doors, which we did not do.
You can have custom doors built, but it is more common to buy and use pre-hung manufactured units that are ready to be installed when they are delivered.
When you install a pre-manufactured door, follow the instructions as they are given, or else you can lose your warranty.
The most energy-efficient doors are the modern styles, whereas wooden doors are more traditional and have long-standing performance.
If you want a door with a window, it needs to be heat efficient and can also have tempered glass for added safety. The weather stripping around the door protects against air leakage, so be sure to check this out when you are selecting an exterior door.
Installing Decorative Trim and Fabric
Phase 2: Other Trims
Since these finishes will be on the exterior of your house, they need to be of good quality and should be able to resist weather and climate changes and harsh conditions.
Also, you should pick trim that allows for easy painting. The fasteners that you will use for the trim need to be corrosion-resistant and set in a coat so that they can last. Often, nails are puttied after a prime coat is used, which prevents rust.
Once the wall coverings are done, the team will begin to think about doing other exterior trims for your home. This includes exterior trims like window and door trims and soffits.
These trims are cut, fitted, and placed on-site and can be customized to the design of the building.
We already talked about windows, and here we will get into a little more about window finishing. Although windows are important for providing light and air in the home, windows are also part of the architectural home design.
So, when you choose the style, size, and design, also think about the kind of frames and trim you will use.
You can select a window frame and sash that is made of metal, fiberglass, wood, or plastic and can mix and match. This all plays into how the house will look and the exterior feel of the home.
We love to have a lot of natural light in our house, and because of this, we tried to have large areas of glazing.
But, there are rules and codes when you build your own house when it comes to window sizes, do check with your local codes before investing and designing.
One thing to remember is that more windows mean there is more heat loss, and if you have good trim this heat loss can be minimized but not eliminated.
Any kind of wood that is used for a window sash and frame needs to be treated so that decaying is decreased.
Any exterior trim for the window is typically attached to the window frame when the window is fabricated and is nailed to the studs. Any leftover space around the window frame is usually filled with insulation.
Exterior door frames will also need to be installed, and using hardwood increases durability. The door frame needs to be nailed well to the opening framework and the door sill needs to bear solidly on the floor framing.
Installing New House Indoor Stairs
Phase 2: Stairs & Wiring
Let’s learn about stairs and their types such as spiral stairways, circular stairways, wood stairways, steel stairways, and contemporary staircases.
Stairs are an important consideration when designing your home. There are two kinds of stairs, the main stairs, which are those stairs between finished areas, and those stairs that go to storage areas, laundry, and other smaller areas.
For our main stairs, we used more expensive materials and put more thought into the design and size; the other stairs to smaller areas of the house were not as fancy.
Stair guards are used to surrounding the openings to protect against falling over the edge and handrails are installed to help go up and down.
The recommended dimensions for the rise-to-run are a rise of 7 – 7.5 in. (180 to 190 mm) with a run of 9 ¾ to 10 ¼ in. (250 to 265 mm) with a minimum headroom of 6 ft. 6 in.
(1.95 m). There are special terms used in stair building, and below in the image are parts of the stairs:
Electrical wiring is done after the exterior wall sheathing and roof are done. At this stage, the wiring and boxes are installed for outlets, lights, and switches, all of which need to follow local codes and regulations. Insulation is typically put in after this.
The placement of outlets and boxes needs to be carefully planned before the house building begins. We spent countless hours with our architect thinking about what types of appliances and electronics we would use, and how we could implement an efficient and pleasing layout.
Any changes that are made after the house is built are VERY expensive.
One of the good things about using wood-frame housing is that you can find creative ways to hide a lot of the heating and plumbing systems.
When you are designing the framing for the house, especially the floor framing, be sure to consider the piping and ductwork that will need to be added later.
You will need to install the plumbing after the framing is done for it. There is a term called “roughing-in” which means that plumbing vents and drains, and hot and cold water piping is put in so that it can later be enclosed in the walls, ceilings, and floors.
There are many ways that the house can be heated, such as hot-water heating systems, electric systems, and single-space heaters, all of which can be easily installed in a wood-frame house.
We used an electric system in our house since it has a multi-control feature. Some of the most common ones used include forced warm-air, electric baseboards, and forced flow hot-water heating.
Each type has its own set of local regulations, which you need to check before purchasing and installing, and all need proper and controlled ventilation.
Phase 2: Insulation
What is the Best Way to Insulate a House?
We are going to show you the best way to insulate a new home.
Insulation is used to minimize heat loss from your house. When you build your home, materials used for other structures such as walls or ceilings have low heat resistance, which is why it is important to use insulation.
Heat resistance is measured by an R-value (thermal resistance). Since energy sources are expensive, good insulation is key to minimizing long-term costs. Also, this plays into the healthy housing principle of energy efficiency.
The amount of insulation you will use when building your house will depend on codes and also the climate zone you are living in. Degree-days are used to determine how much insulation to use as well.
This is a calculation that determines the mean temperature for every day in the year. All of the ceilings, floors, and walls that separate heated space from unheated space or the outside air need to be insulated.
There are various ways to install insulation, and your builder can determine which methods are best.
You can choose from 4 basic types of insulation; each of them is made from a variety of materials and come in many forms. The four types are described below:
- Rigid: made from wood fiber, expanded or extruded foamed plastic, and is purchased in sheets or boards.
- Loose Fill: made from glass, mineral wool fiber, and cellulose fiber and is placed by pouring or blowing into place.
- Foamed-in-place: made from under pressure materials such as polyurethane and isocyanurate that can be sprayed or injected in a foamed liquid state.
- Semi-rigid: made from glass and mineral wool fibers, and come in flexible insulation boards.
Manufacturers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious of energy efficiency. When you choose your insulation and are installing it in your house, remember that occupant health should also be taken into consideration.
Any that is exposed can cause health problems. Also, try to avoid products that are made from heavily processed chemicals.
All of the foundation walls that enclose heated spaces need to be insulated fully. Any insulation that is installed on the inner parts of the foundation’s walls, or below-grade, should be protected by a moisture barrier.
Floor insulation should be done for floors that are over unheated crawl spaces or unheated garages. Walls between dwelling units and garages need to be insulated the same way as the exterior walls.