DIRTCO Construction of Austin, Texas
Complex foundation for new home

Although this new house will be relatively small, it presented a variety of challenges. The property is located in an old creek bed so DIRTCO trenched under the house footprint to create a water barrier beneath the foundation.

Our crew did the excavation, steel tying, form building, concrete placement, and concrete finish to stain grade.

OLD CREEK BED
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HILLSIDE LOT
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The first minor challenge is the lots location on a hillside.
In the beginning the Bobcat does the initial clearing to create room to work.
MAKING ROOM TO WORK
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The first stage of excavation begins to shape the project at the approximate elevation for the house.
The amount of earth that needed to be removed dictated using heavier equipment.
WORKING IN TANDEM
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The DIRTCO equipment operators work in tandem to prepare the lot quickly.
The backhoe is used to shape the perimeter for forming.
BACKHOE SHAPING THE PERIMETER
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BOBCAT SHAPING THE LOT
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The Bobcat continues to shape the lot to the position of the coming slab.
An additional setback is dug to provide room for bracing the forms.
String lines mark the layout for the concrete forms.
This foundation will have several levels making the correct layout for the forms more challenging.
CONCRETE PIER REINFORCEMENTS
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The sloping terrain combined with the proximity of the water table called for reinforcing the surrounding soil with concrete piers.
The footers are dug by hand to a greater depth than normal to stabilize the foundation due to the old creek bed.
SETTING FORMS BEGINS
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Prefrabricated forms are lowered into the deep footer trenches and braced.
The forms are checked for vertical plumb and square corners.
BRACED AND REINFORCED
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Each run is reinforced because of the depth and braced for greater strength when pouring the concrete.
The different levels of this foundation require a variety of bracing methods.
MORE COMPLEXITY
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The concrete forming grows in complexity with each level of the foundation.
As work progresses each section is rechecked for level and square.
CENTER FOOTINGS
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Center footings are also dug to add strength and rigidity to the surface.
The short rises in the foundation call for bracing that is strong enough to hold the concrete without interferring with pouring the adjacent lower level.
Placing the sandbags along the edges allows the concrete to expand and contract over time.
Sandbags also provide a barrier to prevent the surface layer of fill material from spilling into the footer trench.
FILL RETENTION
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Each level of this foundation requires a little different placement of bags.
When the sandbags are in place around the edge for each level the surface material fill is added.
SURFACE FILL
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This completed footer is adjacent to a higher level.
This opposite view illustrates the drop from one level to the next.
Compacting the subsurface is essential in any foundation slab.
Materials are scheduled to arrive throughout the project. With the subsurface near completion a load of steel arrives.
Many residential projects present a challenge for heavy equipment and the delivery of materials. In this case power lines and tree limbs make it difficult for the dump truck.
DIRTCO recommends you examine the location of utility lines, easements, set back requirements and code restrictions before starting any project.
A moisture barrier is rolled into the footers for this project to prevent ground water from seeping under the foundation.
Rebar is tied together over the plastic for each level.
The surface steel includes vertical rods to tie in the footers.
With the reinforcing steel in place, the foundation is ready for concrete.
Concrete is poured into the footers first making sure it settles to the bottom before moving on to the surface slab.
For this multi-level foundation, the top level is poured and floated first.
An angled brace keeps the inside corner of the top level square but creates a challenge in floating the lower one.
Moving down each level is filled with concrete and floated.
Concrete finishers are used to provide a smooth surface that will accomodate any type of flooring.
Long steel rods remain to tie the final intermediate level to the main foundation. PVC stubs for plumbing are ready when the framing begins.
As the concrete cures the small landing level can be framed and poured.
With the concrete cured and the forms removed, the finished product emerges from the tangle of wood and steel ready to begin buiding a house.
Call DIRTCO Construction at 512-844-4366
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Tracen Gardner, Owner

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