Site Excavation & Landscaping – Note that all expenses for excavation may not be included in the original bid as there can be unforeseen circumstances. Soil conditions can sometimes increase original estimates. Check with neighbors to see if any soil problems arose during excavation. Excavating the site includes digging the hole, compaction, back filling and adding topsoil to prep for the landscaper. This aspect of the building process ranges between 3% to 5% of the total cost but the impact is a far greater percentage with respect to the success of the project.
Foundation Walls & Floors – The foundation sets the stage for the rest of the project; if it’s not square and level, compromises must be made. Some basic characteristics of cured concrete are that it’s inflexible and brittle; cracks should not cause panic as they are not a structural concern. Cracks can be caused by conditions when pouring which can influence the curing along with the composition of the concrete. Even structural engineers assume some minor cracking will occur.
Foundation Drain Systems – If you choose not to install one, you could have water in your basement. Drain tile is installed around the foundation and pitched toward a sump hole where water can collect and be pumped out. You should waterproof the walls ad use insulating material to direct water to the drainage system. A crushed stone bed should be used to protect the drain tile from back filling which can crush the tile, causing future problems.
Check Out Part 2 – Framing, Windows, Doors & Siding
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