HOW TO BUILD A CUSTOM HOME, Part 18: Concrete Slabs – Basement and Garage Floors

In this series, the professionals at the B.O.L.D. Company will take you through the process of building a custom home in the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky area. From plan and lot selection, to mortgage approval, to the actual construction, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes each week for an inside look at a different part of the process.

This week, we look at pouring the concrete slabs to form the basement and garage floors of a new home:

Before pouring the concrete slabs, don’t forget to pre-treat for subterranean termites! The sprayed termiticide is intended to create a chemical barrier in the soil underneath and around the home that will prevent termites from surfacing.

The ground upon which the basement slab will be poured should be compacted and solid, the foundation drainage system and the vapor barrier installed, and the foundation walls in place. The basement floor will sit over top of the vapor barrier and within the foundation walls. The garage floor, however, does not sit in the bottom of the foundation where the ground is solid. The garage floor is generally a “suspended slab” poured on soil that is filled to the appropriate height to match the garage’s location in relation to the foundation and the surrounding grade. For this reason, the garage slab requires more support than the basement slab, which gets support from the solid surface on which it rests. Under the garage floor, piers are dug down to solid ground and filled with concrete to create a solid “column” which transfers pressure from the slab down to the solid ground underneath. Because this suspended slab only has solid support where the piers are located, and not the entire surface beneath, steel reinforcing rods (rebar) are placed inside the concrete, which hardens around the rebar. The steel rebar supports the slab and causes pressure to spread across the surface, rather than concentrating in one or a few locations.

Minor and hairline concrete cracks are very common and impossible to avoid completely. However, in order to minimize cracking, expansion joints (aka control joints) are cut in both suspended (garage) and floating (basement) concrete slabs shortly after they are poured. Concrete shrinks as it cures, and also expands and contracts with temperature changes. These “planned cracks” give the concrete room to move and provides a “weak” place so that when the concrete tries to crack, it will crack within the joint, where it is not visible or harmful.

The B.O.L.D. Company is uniquely situated to help you through each and every step of the custom home building process, from financing and design/selections to construction and warranty service. We are available to build on your lot in Northern Kentucky, or let our licensed real estate agents help you find the perfect home site! Our in-house drafting and design team, together with our on-staff licensed Professional Engineer, can help you find or design the plan of your dreams! And of course, B.O.L.D. combines quality products and craftsmanship with unsurpassed customer service, so that the finished home is everything you expect and more. Find out why 400+ other new home customers have trusted The B.O.L.D. Company since 1986!

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