There are several ways to install a foundation, and one of the more interesting processes involves the use of foundation forms. If one foundation doesn't look much different from another to you, this guide will help you understand what makes a foundation form installation a bit different.
At its core, what makes the foundation form installation system appealing for many projects is that it involves putting in poured concrete. This means the foundation will be a solid slab of concrete, and it can readily be reinforced with rebar prior to pouring.
As the name of the process suggests, forms are used to create the shape of the foundation. A snap-together system is used to create customizable shapes for foundations. Once all the pieces are snapped in place, a contractor then pours concrete into the foundation forms.
When to Use Forms
The forming process is ideal for use at locations where the ground has already been properly prepared. This means having professionals excavate the space for the foundation, leveling it to ensure that everything will be uniform after the concrete has been poured.
Forms may be less than ideal in situations where you have to work around the terrain. This can arise due to weight issues, especially if the ground simply won't support that much concrete. There are also situations involving non-uniform terrain where it may be better to use a product like blocks to build things up slowly.
Difficult sites can also present challenges. If access is limited, which might happen in an urban location with buildings all around, it can be difficult to get concrete into the forms in time.
Pros and Cons
There are two main upsides to employing foundation forms. First, it's a quick way to get a lot of concrete poured, presuming the location is well-suited to the process. Second, reinforced concrete with few or no seams is very solid.
One downside is that a wall of concrete may present long-term maintenance issues, especially if cracks form. It's important to perform a thorough engineering survey before choosing foundation form installation as a process. Identifying problems with groundwater that might permeate the concrete can help you choose how to proceed. For example, a French drain system can be installed around the foundation to direct water away from the concrete.
The forms are also highly customizable. If you want to incorporate several tight corners into the footprint of a building, this can make it much easier to execute.
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