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When pouring concrete in 95 degree or hotter weather and-or windy weather it is very likely the foundation will have some small cracks due to the concrete drying too quickly.  It is possible to try and put water on the foundation to slow it down, but in our experience by the time the concrete is dry enough to be ok with additional water on top it has already started to dry and crack too fast in these weather conditions.

Below about 90 degrees with little wind about half the foundations will have small spider web cracks also due to drying too fast.  In the winter of course there is less risk of cracks and these type of cracks usually don´t go all the way through the foundation.  They are very often just small spider web surface cracks and they in no way effect the integrity of the foundation.

This isn´t to say that tension cable foundations are better than rebar by any means;  they are just less expensive and have less cracks.  In practice rebar may actually be stronger than tension cable foundations.  When any foundation is poured the people pouring the foundation have to walk on top of the rebar or cables to pour the concrete and smooth it out.  When the pour workers walk on rebar it for the most part retains it position and doesn´t move because it is all tied together.  


Tension cables on the other hand move so what started as perfectly straight lines on a set of paper plans winds up being s type curves in practice.  When the tension is applied to the cables the forces will be unequal causing weaknesses and torque throughout the foundation.  So although the tension cable foundation will have less cracks visible it may also not be quite as strong as the rebar foundation.  Obviously both types of foundations are plenty strong for houses as they are both used currently.  They just have their own strengths and weaknesses.

The process to make a foundation is as follows.  

  1. Building permit is aquired.  this step requires you to have plans already.

  2. Excavation and site prep is performed.

  3. Three wood forms-usually 2x6s-are put down on the ground to indicate where in the property the foundation will be.

  4. Form survey inspection performed by city to make sure the new foundation will               have the appropriate set back and be located in the property exactly where shown on the site plan submitted to the city.

  5. If piers are required they are drilled now.  the rebar is put in the piers and a city             inspector or the engineer must inspect and pass the piers for depth and rebar. Then the piers concrete is poured separate to the foundation at this time.

  6. All plumbing is installed by the plumber--this can take up to 2 weeks.

  7. A city inspector has to inspect and pass the plumbing.

  8. All of the foundation beams are trenched, all rebar or tension cables are installed, all inside forms are set.

  9. Inside forms inspection is performed by the city to make sure all beam depths, forms, and rebar-tension cables are set correctly.

  10. Plumber wraps all plumbing pipe and makes boxes to keep concrete out around  the showers.

  11. Electrician installs ground wire and any conduit required and inspection performed by city to inspect ground wire and conduit.

  12. When all foundation, electrical, and plumbing inspections have passed the foundation scheduled to be poured.


The foundation pour is the big day we have all been waiting for.  Usually at least one and a half weeks is needed  to schedule the concrete so the plant can make enough of the correct type of mix-slump, all the concrete trucks can be scheduled to arrive quickly with good service, and in most cases a pump truck can be scheduled.  

The typical foundation will take roughly a month and a half from start to finish including all the inspections.  Some of the larger builders can be faster and some of the smaller builders or individuals might be a hair slower.

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