Budgeting and Staying on Schedule
When you are in the planning stages of a new commercial construction project, you want to keep the finished product in forefront of your mind while concurrently sticking to your budget and staying on schedule. Rarely do construction projects go exactly as planned, and unless you have done this often, coming up with an accurate projection of where line items should be on your budget and when stages of construction will be completed is a complicated process. Commercial construction plans, much like residential, are rarely completed without a hitch. Unlike residential plans, the greater scale of a commercial project contributes to the complexity of the job.
Price vs Quality
When preparing a budget for a new commercial construction project, it is easy to allocate funds for the finishing touches on the building, which people will actually see. However, we cannot emphasize enough that one area where we do not recommend skimping is in the very core of your project: the foundation itself. When taking bids and considering price vs. quality, quality should win every time. Generally, a foundation is only noticed when structural problems occur. A solid, quality foundation will never be noticed by the company that occupies your facility, and that’s exactly how it should be.
Soil Quality Consideration
No two buildings are exactly alike; even more importantly, no two plots of land underneath two similar buildings have exactly the same soil composition. Oftentimes it is the soil composition, not the actual foundation, that is the greatest hindrance to the strength of a structure. That being said, builders can take the soil quality into consideration and create a best possible scenario for creating a foundation that will last a lifetime.
Types of Foundations Used in Commercial Construction
Several foundation types that are commonly used in commercial construction are mat foundations, spot foundations, or monolithic slabs with grade beams.
- Mat Foundations – A mat foundation is a thick slab foundation that supports an entire structure. A mat foundation may be utilized when supporting soil conditions are poor, and it may be heavily reinforced to support the load of the structure.
- Spot Foundations – Also known as a continuous footing foundation or “strip footings”, a spot foundation is an enlarged based foundation that is designed to support the load of a structure, while at the same time dispersing the pressure exerted on the foundation by the structure over a larger surface area. This foundation type is generally wider than it is thick, and may be reinforced with steel rods to give extra strength in areas that bear more weight, or in areas where soil conditions are poor.
- Monolithic Slabs with Grade Beams – A monolithic slab with grade beams is sometimes used in the construction of buildings that have light loads. This style of foundation is not generally used to support column loads. Monolithic slab foundations are constructed in one pour of concrete, with grade beams added to the interior of the area to be poured to add strength. Monolithic slabs are popular because from a financial prospective, they save labor and construction costs. However, as previously stated, the planning and constructing of a proper foundation should never hinge around cost alone.
When considering a commercial construction project, a complete knowledge of foundation types and a thorough understanding of the soil upon which they rest should drive your decision-making.
A completed structure will be most safe when the foundation is secure. Even more importantly, the people who will be working in and around your commercial building will remain safe when it is built on a quality foundation. To learn more about the complexities of commercial foundations, or if you suspect your home or building is in need of foundation repair, contact Perma-Pier Foundation Repair of Texas!