Laying foundations for building

Laying foundations is just one of the many jobs you will need to do if you are adding on, extending or building a new project and is probably the most important part of any building project, because if you get this part wrong, the entire project is a fail.


How to lay foundations

Laying foundations has to be done right, and this video offers the most comprehensive step-by-step instructions that I have come across to date.

Reference is made to "ballast" and this simple refers to building sand.

Digging the foundations for a wall is a physically hard job, and it could take you a couple of days, but its worth doing properly as the success of your wall building endeavours will depend on the quality of your footings. Here's how it's done.

Step 1: Setting out

For small walls, your footings need to be 150mm deep by 300mm wide. However, if you're building a wall over a metre high, you'll need to use the following table to decide how big your footings should be. Once you know how big your footings need to be, mark out the width and length of the trench with pegs and string.

Step 2: Digging the hole

Next, grab a spade and get digging. Try and cut out any tree roots you encounter and keep an eye out for drains. And if water seeps in through the bottom of the trench before it's finished - call in a reputable builder.

Step 3: Filling with concrete

Drive stakes into the trench at 1 metre intervals, with the depth of footing you're after marked on their tops. Check them with a spirit level and then start to pour the concrete. Leave it to dry for a day and it's ready to build on.