When Are Foundation Forms Right For A Project?

Posted on: 23 December 2020

Foundation forms represent one of the two most common ways to build a foundation, with the other involving stacked concrete blocks. If you're not sure whether the foundation form installation process is right for your project, it's a good idea to learn when this approach is likely to work best.

Control of the Mixture

When a contractor pours concrete, they have control of the mixture. This can be a big deal if you're tackling a project that requires a special mix, such as a building that has to bear a lot of weight. A mixture that is dryer can be compacted, allowing it to bear a greater load. You also can mix heavier gravels or more aggregates into the mix, providing finer control of the results.

If you're using blocks, you're stuck with whatever concrete mixture the manufacturer prefers. That's often fine for lighter residential applications, but it could be problematic for commercial work or even something like a multi-vehicle garage.

Especially in jurisdictions with strict code enforcement, foundation forms are often the best way to go. Enforcement officers frequently reject block foundations that use workarounds, such as pouring concrete into their gaps.

Room for Equipment

One of the virtues of blocks is they can be transported by hand into tight spaces. That often makes them useful in dense urban settings.

It's important to verify there's room for equipment needed for a foundation form installation effort. You'll likely need a cement truck to help you create the mixture to pour. There will also need to be room to store stone, aggregate, water, and dry cement mix. You'll also have to make room to store the foundation forms until you're ready to use them.

Speed and Simplicity

The big advantage of foundation forms is that they allow you to move very fast once you have everything set up. Your forms should stand on their own, requiring minimal intervention. Otherwise, the job is mostly about keeping the concrete mixture coming.

In-Floor and Wall Utilities

It's often possible to install conduits and pipes in poured concrete structures. This makes it easier to work around the concrete without cutting holes in it. That ensures you won't compromise the structure.

It also provides a tighter seal, reducing the odds that water from outside will get into the areas where the pipes and wires are. Be aware, though, that a tightly built concrete structure is not waterproof. You'll still need to address drainage and waterproofing around the foundation.