The first step in the actual construction process is usually building your home site’s foundations and infrastructure. Infrastructure preparation can include many tasks usually completed by specialized subcontractors using large equipment. Some of the tasks that will need to be completed to prepare your building site for construction include:
- clearing trees and vegetation from the access corridor and home site
- electrical service (on poles or underground)
- building the road or driveway; including positioning culverts for drainage
- digging or drilling the well
- installing septic systems including drain fields and holding tanks
- trenching to connect to public water or sewer,
- digging the foundation (either full basement or piers for slab foundation)
- trenching for French drain systems
Scheduling for Excavator Efficiency
Most contractors schedule these site preparation activities to make the best use of daily rates for large equipment. A good excavator operator can make quick work of clearing roadways, digging and removing material to maximize your total excavation costs. If there’s a possibility of ledge in your area that might require blasting, the idled excavator might be used elsewhere on site to expand an existing pond or relocating tree stumpage for safe burial elsewhere on your property.
Constructing Foundations All Year Long
In home construction, like many industries, builders are often wary of innovation, but sometimes new and improved is really the way to go with constructing the foundation. We spoke with Brien Shreve, of Cabin Run Log Homes. His company builds in Deer County, Md., where heavy snowfall—often as much as 250 inches a season—was hampering his ability to build during the winter. He needed to be able to construct foundations year-round to meet the demands of his market. He found his solution in Superior Walls foundations, whose pre-constructed foundation wall systems provide a pre-framed, R21 rating insulated, waterproof concrete walls that can be constructed in less than a day in any temperature.
“I was wary at first, but in the 18 or so years since we started using Superior Walls Foundations, we haven’t looked back,” said Shreve. “We can set foundation walls all year long, which is a huge advantage.” Superior manufactures the segments of the foundation wall using 5000 psi concrete, which is non-porous, and so requires no waterproofing treatment. The segments can be as long as 16 feet. The foundation segments can be finished on the exterior with smooth finish or slightly rough to accommodate artificial stonework finishing around walkout basements.
The pre-made panels are shipped to the home site, and a crane is used to position the panels in place on gravel footings. The panels are connected together using a specialized material, and the concrete floor is then poured.
“The panels come pre-framed on the inside and so that’s a huge time saver if the basement is going to be finished,” Shreve explained. On an average sized (1800 sq. ft.) footprint, it takes as little as 5 hours to set the foundation panels in place and framing can begin immediately. “Superior Walls Foundations can really speed up the construction process, especially during the winter,” Shreve added.
His workers are always careful to follow the preparation steps laid out by Superior, especially in the colder months. Shreve believes this is the best foundation system on the market, and it offers a 15-year warranty, literally unheard of in conventional foundations. From the energy efficiency, speed in construction and the ability to set a foundation any time of year, Superior Walls offers some great advantages for any homeowner to consider for their Katahdin Cedar Log Home.