The foundation is the most important part in building construction whether it is a commercial or a residential structure. The purpose of a foundation is to hold up and hold together the structure above it. In other words, the foundation carries the building that sits on top of it. Contrary to our everyday experience the ground is not quite still and in many cases not totally solid. A house which is just plonked down on bare earth is more likely to be cracked or damaged over time by natural forces. A properly-built foundation could sustain the wrath of a natural phenomenon at a much higher level and remain safe for the people inside it.
In a house construction, although it is a mere single-level or two-level structure, its structural integrity shouldn’t be sacrifice just because of the cost involved. Some clients tend to put less emphasis and least attention on good foundation because they are more particular of a beautiful and nice looking house and put little credence to the foundation because it is unseen and buried by dirt. They unknowingly neglected the far more critical aspect of erecting a structure that is building and constructing a good foundation.
When the house foundation is not properly done and begins to fail then that is the time that you may notice the following:
• Cracks on the stucco or exterior wall finishing
• Separated block or brick joints
• Windows or doors misaligned
• Floor sagging or sloping
• Cracks on the basement wall
• Cracks on the flooring
Building a new house is not an easy Do-It-Yourself task. For one, you need to get a builder/engineer/architect for the building plans and permit. For the structural integrity of the foundation and building as a whole, you need the professional services of a structural/civil engineer. Structural/civil engineers are the guardians of public safety, ensuring that buildings and bridges are strong enough to withstand all kinds of stresses and strains. Structures are subject to vertical, or “Gravity” Loads and horizontal, or “Lateral” Loads. Gravity loads include “dead”, or permanent, load, which is the weight of the structure, including its walls, floors, finishes, and mechanical systems, and “live”, or temporary load, which is the weight of a structure’s contents and occupants. Lateral loads include those generated by the wind, earthquakes, or explosions. Structural elements must be designed so that, as a system, the structure can resist all loads that will act upon it. Structural/civil engineers are well-verse in analyzing stresses and strains and calculating loads.
In conclusion, when it comes to building projects and life in general, the foundation is the most important work and the basis of everything that comes after. It should not be taken for granted because life is at stake. Particularly nowadays, natural calamities such as storms, earthquake, floods, etc. are becoming more frequent, we must safeguard the lives of our love ones and/or families by implementing and constructing a durable and strong building foundation that adheres to the structural standards and principles.
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