Find Quality Concrete Foundation Contractors in Oakland, CA

The main purpose of any foundation is to stabilize and secure the structure. Our working spaces, will experience changes as the structure ages. That is why it is so important to have a foundation that is designed for the climate it is located in. The primary considerations for a new foundation or a repair always addresses the key factors of the external and internal environment and the geological factors in your region.

The main purpose of any foundation is to provide stability and secure the structure. Whether repairing a foundation or considering an addition, it will be the first and primary connection because it will link both buildings, it should be seamless and structurally invisible. A correctly dimensioned foundation is vital to guaranteeing that and that the other structural elements line up correctly with what’s already there. The choice of foundation also affects what type of waterproofing, drainage, and insulation you choose to install. We will talk about that in another article.

No single type of foundation is appropriate for every renovation, repair, building, or addition. The one you choose will depend on many different factors, this will consider the existing foundation of your structure if it is an addition or renovation, budget, local soil and climate conditions, etc. If you carefully weigh the strengths and weaknesses of different foundations against the particular characteristics of your project, one foundation type should emerge as the obvious choice. Foundations require a stable place (usually called a footing) that provides a base for the foundation. Building codes clearly designate footing dimensions and depth in relationship to the width and height of the foundation walls; the footing is usually at least twice as wide as the wall, and twice as deep as the wall is wide. The footing is critical in evenly distributing the weight of the foundation and addition, you must get your calculations correct. Talk to your contractor about what your foundation will require.

A foundation must provide a sturdy base to build upon and to protect the structure from the damaging effects of soil and moisture. If you are planning a renovation, or repair work the foundation ties the building to the first structure and should keep the building from shifting during seasonal freeze-thaw cycles.

There are different kinds of foundations that suit different climatic conditions and you need to decide which is best for your budget. It is a good idea to consult a local expert who can advise you which foundation is your best option. Talking to local professionals can make the difference between a great choice, an easy fix, or an unexpected catastrophe due to lack of knowledge.

Foundations poured from Concrete.

A concrete slab, provides a hard floor which is an extremely long lasting foundation. If you are considering an addition - a concrete foundation means the building is considered permanent, this will affect the tax assessment of your property, you’ll also most likely need a permit for the project.

The slab foundation commonly used for sheets is called a slab-on-grade foundation. This combines a 3 ½ thick floor slam with an 8 to 12 inch thick perimeter footing that provides extra support for the walls of the building. The whole foundation can be poured at one time using a simple wood form. Slab-on-grade foundations are susceptible to frost heaves and in cold weather climates are suitable only for detached buildings because they are constructed to sit on the surface. Specific design requirements also vary by locality, so check with the local contractors about what type of moisture barrier is needed under the slab, the metal reinforcement required, the depth of the sand, and the type and amount of gravel required for the sub base.

Concrete block foundations.

Concrete block foundations are budget friendly because they are quick and easy to build. In terms of simplicity, a block foundation is second only to the wooden skid. But the real beauty of this design is its ability to accommodate a sloping site: all you have to do is add blocks as needed to make the foundation level.

Concrete pier foundations.

Foundation piers are poured concrete cylinders that are formed using cardboard tubes. The tubes come in several diameters and are commonly available from building material suppliers. Your contractor will anchor the sheds floor frame to the piers using a variety of methods. The simplest option is to bolt a wood block to the top of each pier, then fasten on to the floor frame on the blocks. Other anchoring options involve post bases of metal and various other framing connectorseither set into the wet concrete or fastened to the piers after the concrete has cured. Your contractor or professional will know the local building code anchoring specifications.

Piers that extend below the frost line - the ground depths to which it freezes each winter - will keep your structure from shifting during annual freeze-thaw up cycles. This is a standard requirement for major structures, like houses, but not typically for free standing sheets. Another positive point of the pier a foundation is that you can extend the piers well above the ground to accommodate a sloping site. Your contractor will compact the gravel underneath and against back walls as backfill. All reinforcing steel should have a minimum of 1 ½” concrete cover.

Footing code requirements take into account several key issues, but the most significant are frost line considerations. The frost line is the depths to which the soil in your area regularly freezes during the cold seasonal changes. Because freezing temperatures cause soil movement that can strain and potentially crack concrete structures, building codes dictate how far footing (and sometimes foundation walls) must extend below ground – usually 12 inches or more below the official frost line depths for the area. Your contractor should know these code requirements.

Perimeter wall foundations can be constructed of all concrete blocks. Once in place they create a crawl space that is normally at least 24 inches high. The crawl space is left unfinished, with their bare earth floor and walls completely covered with a polyethylene vapor barrier and rigid insulation to prevent moisture related problems such as rot and mold. The crawl space allows room for air circulation and allows room for utilities under the floor even if the foundation has been laid. The floor support for a perimeter wall foundation can be constructed one of two ways. This type of foundation is far less expensive than a full basement, but can match the basements insulating and space potential. This is why perimeter wall foundations are common in warmer climates and when building smaller additions.

Full basements provide great versatile areas for any purpose, they can provide energy efficient foundation options. The flip side is they are the most complex, time consuming, and expensive to build. These options need to be weighed against the needs of your family and life style choices.

Post and Pier foundations are often utilized for additions, often to accommodate a steep slope. This method is a less common foundation consisting of several independent posts that are essentially substantial concrete footings anchoring vertical posts.

An addition like a shed or non-permanent structure can be built with a variety of foundations; the most commonly used types are the wooden skit or the simple concrete slab. In addition to being far easier and cheaper to construct, a skid foundation allows you to move the shed if you need to. It also ensures – in most areas – that the building as classified as a temporary structure.

A concrete block or concrete pier foundation provides an excellent option because it is not going to blow away if you are in a windy location, it is also not permanently imbedded in the ground. Both of these foundation options are good for low budgets. As always, check with your local building inspector for permits and regulations.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the foundation of your building can cause a multitude of issues. The National Association of home builders states that the primary reason for builder callbacks is related to faulty foundations. It has been said, a properly constructed foundation should never give you trouble, improperly constructed, it will never cease to be a problem.

The foundation of any construction bears the weight of the building and should be designed to carry the stress period for that type of foundation. The specifications will vary according to the size of the constructionand the type of soil it is constructed on. Whether the structure has a slab, pier or beam foundation the soil composition is a critical factor. As mentioned previously a key factor is the climate extremes that your environment is exposed to. The contractor must give due diligence to each contributing factor: geological factors for your location, soil composition, climate extremes in your area, and structural load.

Unfortunately, there are factors that are beyond even the best construction teams. Often geological changes affect even the best construction. Another major factor is expansive soil which is subject to a change in volume. The soil can dry out and shrink, or can expand when water logged. This process is a huge contributing factor for maintenance of concrete foundations. The worst states for this issue are; Mississippi, Colorado, California, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas and Alabama.

Whether or not you live in any of the above mentioned places scheduling a specialist too routinely survey the property could save thousands of dollars. Maintenance is a imperative in reducing the cost of detectable problems. A minor issue not resolved quickly can end up being a major expense.

If you have a foundation issue and need an expert from your particular location, someone who is familiar with the geography – construction codes in your area, then we can connect you to professional assistance. The link below will connect you to 2 or 3 builders or foundation companies in Oakland,CA. These professionals will provide a free consultation along with free estimates. After discussing their proposals you can decide which is the best course of action for your particular need! Intervention can mean the difference between an easy fix and a catastrophe.