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Step 1 of 3: Building Room Addition or entire house, it all starts at ground level

After obtaining all necessary permits, surveys and plans, our first step is to determine how deep to dig the basement.

The Complete Builders Difference: If you choose the basement option, your home will have 9 foot basement walls which allows for a greater ceiling if you finish your basement. Our basement will also have natural daylight. We first must determine where the windows will be located in the basement and be sure that there is adequate yard drainage away from the foundation. Almost all basement leaks are a result of poor drainage away from the foundation. That s why establishing the foundation elevation is so critical.

As the excavation continues, the grade at the bottom of the basement is constantly checked with a laser instrument to insure a level dig.

Checking the grade

Checking the grade


digging the basement

Digging the basement

The majority of the dirt dug out of a basement is hauled away to a location pre-arranged with a trucking company. Some dirt is left on the site to backfill around the basement.

Once the excavation is complete the concrete crew moves in to install the footer for the basement walls. First, a string line is positioned around the perimeter of the basement walls so forms can be set up for the concrete.

Once all of the forms have been constructed, a leveling device is used to put the entire footer on a level grade.

A perforated tile is placed on the interior and exterior of the footer with short tiles running through the footer (between wooden forms). This allows any water on the outside of the wall to travel to the interior tile, then on to the sump pit where it will be pumped away from the home. Both the interior tile and exterior tile are covered with crushed stone. An additional layer of stone will be added later to the exterior.

leveling the grade

Leveling the grade


preforated tile

Perforated tile


sump pump

Sump pump

Next a Bobcat delivers the basement wall panels into the basement. The panels are the forms that are used to pour the basement walls. Notice that the Bobcat runs in and out of the basement on a ramp of dirt.

Horizontal reinforcement bars are tied to vertical reinforcement bars using wires and a wire twisting tool. This wall of steel bars will be inside the basement walls. They strengthen the concrete, and prevent shrinkage and cracks from opening wider (Important note: all concrete will eventually develop cracks which is a normal part of the curing process!)

Many items are poured into your basement wall. One such item is a sewer sleeve that will be used to attach drainage lines from the inside of your home to a single line that runs to the sanitary sewer.

Reinforcement bars

Reinforcement bars


Sewer Sleeve

Sewer Sleeve

Wood forms (right) are placed inside the wall panels (background) to create the void for our basement windows.

When there is limited access to a job site, a concrete pump is required to transfer the concrete from the truck to the wall.

After all of the forms are removed, the finishing touches are completed. A coat of tar is sprayed on the exterior of the wall, more stone is added on the exterior tile and stone is placed where any patios or decks will be constructed to avoid any settling. The tar coating is not to waterproof the basement it is applied to stop water vapors from penetrating into the basement.

finished wall

Finished wall
Wood forms

Concrete forms


pouring concrete

Pouring Concrete