Consideration 3: Building Weight

How does building weight impact the way you deal with foundation design considerations? Think of these important things.

The home’s weight is itself an important thing to take into consideration. There are many things that can contribute to a home’s weight, and it’s important to take all of those into account when you’re the one building the initial structure.

How does building weight impact the way you deal with foundation design considerations? Think of these important things. 

  • Beautiful Design, Heavy Structure

One of the things many people don’t realize is that the building materials you choose have significantly different amounts of weight. In many situations, the more “beautiful” design materials like stone and marble will add a substantial amount of weight.

It’s important that you balance the “beauty” of the design with the fact that the home must be able to sustain those design choices. When you’re crafting a design, after all, that design will typically stay with the home for a long time.

If you really want to stick with some of these heavy and beautiful materials, consider going with a deep foundation right off the bat. That way, you don’t have to handle the design considerations of a shallow foundation. You can go into it with a deep foundation.

  • Consider Real and Theoretical Weight

You don’t just want to think about the amount of weight you think will happen in the home on average. You also want to prepare for typically excessive amounts of weight. Sure, maybe the soil under the home can technically handle the weight of the home you’re building on top of it, but what about a family and all their belongings?

It’s never a good idea to max out the weight you’re putting on the foundation. The load-bearing weight chart in the International Building Code isn’t a recommendation for the amount of weight to add; it’s an upper limit you should keep in mind.

Always aim to keep your weight far below the high end of this framework. If you find that the weight is starting to climb to the higher end of the spectrum, consider talking to an expert to find ways to lower it.

  • Think About Current and Future Projects

You know what you’re installing right now. It’s easy for you to consider the weight in the home as it stands. However, do you know what you or the homeowner will want to do with the home’s structure in the future?

If you’re leaving certain things unfinished or less finished than other areas of the house, it’s possible that the homeowner may want to add onto it. How will that future project affect the factors that need to be considered regarding foundation design?

Remember, you want to build a home that will last. These key design considerations should be top of mind when building the foundation and ensuring its longevity in the future.

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