Garage addition project: part 2, breaking ground

Once you have your construction drawings, have selected a contractor, and approved the cost for a home addition project, you should be ready to break ground and get started.

Building permit and site protection

Your contractor should obtain a building permit for the project prior to starting any work, and it is a good idea for your contractor to meet with the local department handling site protection prior to breaking ground. In some areas, the site meeting is a requirement as soil runoff from a rain during construction can shut your home improvement project down very quickly, and a fine may be involved.

The foundation is the backbone of your home addition

The excavating contractor should clear the construction site of any driveway asphalt or concrete. Concrete footings are used to support the foundation and the structure above it, and they must be situated on undisturbed soil which is below the frost line in your area of the country. Any topsoil in the location of your addition should be moved from the site and brought back later if needed.

Installing concrete footings involves forming the concrete with form boards or digging footing trenches, depending on your building and the topography of the site. Building code dictates the size of the footings, the amount of steel rebar installed in them, and the strength of the concrete used when pouring them.

Getting your room addition right

Once the footings are formed or dug, it is a good opportunity for you to see the outline of the space. If something doesn't look right in the layout, or you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask the contractor, as it is much easier to make changes before the concrete is poured.

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