After a lot of hard work, sticking to a budget and judiciously meeting your savings targets, you are now about to watch a team of highly skilled tradespeople build your first home. Although there is much in the media about the difficulty people now face in getting a foot on the property ladder, there are still many Australians who are taking that step.
From Foundations to Lock-up
There is something very self-satisfying about going to your building site each weekend and seeing just how much has been achieved since the last visit. Once the foundations are completed, everything else is now above ground, so there is a visual measurement of progress. The walls go up, the roof goes on and once the building is at lockup stage, the interior work starts.
We don’t have too much to do with the interior work, but we can assist with the foundations. Our machine operators at Dee Gees Bobcats are experts at digging trenches and performing excavations to precise measurements. We ensure that our equipment is correctly maintained, and we adhere to all safety requirements while we are on site.
Site Preparation – From Simple to Complex
Sometimes we prepare foundations in older areas where a previous dwelling has been removed and the site is bare. In these cases, there is usually not much in the way of major excavations required unless the new building is a complex one. Where we are working on new estates that are being carved out of bushland however, the work is much more involved.
We may be called on to shape the landscape to direct runoff in a certain direction for example, or to level out the ground on each block ready for house construction. On hilly ground, many new estates now terrace their blocks, which requires a lot of cutting into the hillside to create the stepping down effect.
Footings and Concrete – the Next Steps
Once the house site is ready the footings are installed as set out on the floor plan. Concrete is then laid inside these footings on the already prepared earth, and this must be high enough to ensure that water will run away from the structure. Holes are then knocked through the concrete for the utilities or power; pipes are fed through, which are then sealed around their base.
The Building Code of Australia requires foundations to be designed by a structural engineer and they should provide protection from moisture and termites. There must also be ventilation for sub-floor spaces and waterproofing to a certain height above the soil. Properly installed foundations provide a solid base for the rest of the building.