Ready for Wall Work? - Part One

After the footer has cured for at least 3 days work can start on the walls. This is another crucial part of building a sturdy home for you and your family.

Most good foundation crews will set the corners with a computerized transit accurate to within 1 /16th of an inch. This is important because if the walls aren’t poured square, the framer will have a difficult time building your home square. The thickness of the walls are dependent on the load, both vertically and horizontally. The height of the walls will affect the thickness as well.

As with the footers, the amount, size and spacing of the steel will be determined by your engineer, based on the loads. All steel must be tied and placed in the proper part of the wall. As with the footer, if the steel is not placed properly it reduces its strength considerably. The P.S.I. of the concrete and it’s mix is also very important and no water should be added on site.

When placing the concrete care should be taken to properly vibrate the walls to ensure you eliminate as many pockets as possible. Failure to do so can result in large sections of “honey comb” which are weak areas in the wall. Over vibrating the walls can cause the rock to separate from the mix and settle to the bottom of the walls. This is a bad thing and care needs to be given to ensure this does not occur. If this occurs, the only solution is to remove this section of wall – very expensive!

Once the walls are poured and the concrete is starting to set up, anchor bolts are installed. These are bolts intended to hold your sill plate down to the wall. This needs to be of the proper length and spaced per code. Additionally care needs to be given to ensure they are in the proper part of the wall so it will hit the plate properly. The walls panels are removed a few days after a pour (depending on the weather). You never want to pour walls when there is a chance of freezing weather during the first 7 days of its curing process. If concrete freezes before it has properly cured it can destroy its strength. This is a very important step to watch.

Of course, these aren’t the only steps that go into good wall work! Be sure to check out part two of this article for other more information regarding the other important elements of this process.