How to prepare the ground for a summer house?

You've bought a plot of land and you want to build a vacation home on it as quickly as possible? Wondering where to start? You may be a bit disoriented – that's completely natural. Find out what you need to do and what work must be carried out to prepare the ground for your dream vacation home.

You certainly already know that building a vacation home doesn't require a building permit, but you still have to take care of proper ground preparation for your investment. Preparing the ground for a vacation home is not complicated, but you need to approach the subject with special care. Why? Answer below.

Foundation is Key

The foundation is one of the most important structural elements of a building. Almost every building has a foundation because it must have a structural element that transfers load to the ground. Foundations can be made from various materials (e.g., wood, concrete, stone). They can also be constructed in various ways (e.g., masonry, slab), and can be situated at different depths or be of the deep type (piles). One might think that vacation homes, due to their small size and relatively low weight compared to year-round residential homes, don't require foundations. This is a misconception.

How to Prepare the Ground for a Mobile Vacation Home?

Ground preparation for a mobile vacation home is necessary regardless of the type of foundation chosen. Initially, you should focus on choosing the appropriate part of the plot. Most importantly, the selected area should be dry. Then, the ground on which our house will stand must be thoroughly cleared of stones, roots, and other plant residues that block the possibility of achieving a flat surface. If the soil is soft and swampy, proper soil compaction should be done before proceeding with further work. The dimensions of the prepared ground should match those of the vacation home we are ordering. The next step will be excavation. We can excavate manually or mechanically using an excavator (a depth of 25 cm is sufficient). The next step in preparing the ground for a vacation home will be to lay a layer of about 7 cm of sand. On the sand layer, place a geotextile and cover it with another layer of sand, about 5-7 cm thick. The next layer will be crushed stone. First, pour about 10 cm of a large fraction variant, and then choose a smaller one. Remember to use a compactor after each layer to level and compact the soil. This will create a stable foundation for our vacation home. Such prepared ground will serve as a base for the foundation we choose, e.g., concrete blocks.

How to Level the Ground for a Vacation Home?

When preparing the ground for a vacation home, you can't forget about proper leveling. For smaller plots, you can use a traditional mason's level, but a leveling instrument can also be used. Don't skip this step, as uneven ground or foundation can delay the construction of your dream house. Knowing how to prepare the ground for a year-round vacation home, you should consider installing appropriate foundations. Below we list the most commonly chosen options by investors.

Can a Vacation Home be Built on Concrete Blocks?

Absolutely. The simplest and cheapest solution is to use blocks for a vacation home. Here, we're talking about a point foundation. Concrete blocks (also known as "betonity") are placed on the outline of the house and along the beams at short distances from each other, providing optimal weight distribution of the structure. The most popular and commonly used concrete blocks are B15 and B20. Concrete blocks are resistant to atmospheric conditions and moisture. They can be purchased at construction markets at a favorable price. Before laying concrete blocks, the ground should be prepared according to the above instructions.

When Not to Use Concrete Blocks?

A point foundation made of concrete blocks has its limitations - it should not be used on wet and unstable grounds. While you can construct a foundation from concrete blocks yourself in a quick and easy manner, there are other alternatives to concrete blocks. Let's take a look.

Can a Vacation Home Be Built on Footings?

The foundation for a vacation home can also be made with so-called footings. Footings are used under individual columns or under several columns spaced closely together. They usually have a rectangular shape with a square or rectangular base. Footings can be made of concrete or reinforced concrete (if the soil is weak). Properly executed footings can ensure safety and durability even for larger vacation home surfaces. Another advantage of this type of foundation is that it also provides effective thermal insulation from the ground. A vacation home can be set directly on footings or additional concrete blocks can be placed on them. The height at which the house will be situated is up to the investor.

Vacation Home on a Foundation Slab

A solid base for a vacation home can be ensured by a foundation slab. The foundation slab guarantees an even distribution of the building load regardless of the type of soil, thus making leveling easier later on.

How to Make a Foundation Slab for a Vacation Home?

For the slab to be correctly made in the prepared excavation, in addition to a layer of sand and fabric, formwork needs to be done. When choosing a foundation slab, we should also remember to lay a waterproofing layer. Construction foil can be used for this. The final step will be the reinforcement of the foundation slab, for example in the form of a steel mesh. The culmination of the work will be the pouring of concrete and waiting for it to safely set. In most vacation homes, plumbing and electrical installations are fitted. When choosing a foundation slab, you must foresee where the connections will be during the design stage. An example implementation on a foundation slab can be found here: [link].

Which Foundation to Choose for a Vacation Home?

Different foundations vary in method and cost of execution. While concrete blocks can be laid by yourself without paying for labor, professional help will usually be needed for a foundation slab. Although the foundation slab is more expensive than the previously mentioned two options, its quality undoubtedly corresponds to the costs incurred and guarantees customer satisfaction. The final choice is yours.

Building a vacation home must be preceded by proper preparation of the ground for the emerging building. It's not always necessary to pour foundations, but regardless of the type of project we choose, it must ultimately meet requirements in terms of stability and safe use. Some of the work related to preparing the ground for a vacation home can be done by yourself. However, if you are not able to adequately prepare the ground for a vacation home, you should assign this task to professionals.

Copyright © 2024 House Boat & Odra

Logo Agencji Interaktywnej Luna Design
Luna Design - Agencja Interaktywna