The foundation is the mainstay of house construction as the stability and performance of the above structure depend on it. The main design parameters to be considered in this regard are the depth and width of the foundation. While foundation depth is a function of the soil’s ‘Safe Bearing Capacity’ (SBC) at a specific depth below ground, width is a function of the total load of walls, slabs, finishes, etc. coming from the main structure.

It will be seen that the design and construction of foundation should be done carefully and there should be no laxity in this regard. A good foundation can be provided to the house if the following precautions are taken.


  1. There should not be any trees or their roots near the area where the foundation is to be laid.
  2. Refrain from laying foundations on natural drains of water.
  3. The depth and width of the foundation in bricks and/or concrete must be properly designed.
  4. The foundation surface should be watered and left open for some time and finally compacted either by hand compactor or rollers.
  5. Anti-termite treatment must be carried out in a proper and prescribed manner.
  6. Proper shuttering should be provided to prevent caving of soil on the side walls of the foundation.
  7. It should be ensured that the foundation is laid in a straight line.
  8. Brick must be thoroughly soaked in water before use. Similarly stones should be washed before use.
  9. The base to be provided should be 7.5 cm to 15 cm (3″ to 6″) on either side of the design width of the concrete foundation.
  10. Base concrete should also be cured and rammed properly before starting work for brick/stone foundation or for foundation in concrete
  11. The reinforcement bars to be provided for seismic reinforcement should be properly fitted in the foundation as per the guidelines.
  12. The construction of the foundation should be done in an absolutely vertical manner.
  13. Steel reinforcement for foundations in concrete should be provided as per the design and kept with proper covering.
  14. Proper cover for reinforcement can be provided by placing cover blocks on the base concrete. These can be made of wood or concrete, etc., in sizes such as 2.5×2.5×2.5 cm (1″x1″x1″) or as required.
  15. The RCC work in the foundation should be properly treated to get the required strength.
  16. The entire depth of the foundation should be at the same level to prevent differential settlement. However, the advice of engineers should be taken in this regard.
  17. Foundations should also be provided for half-brick walls, although they may be of less depth and less width.
  18. A cement mortar/concrete course of about 45 cm width should be provided on the exterior of the house at ground level. This is known as plinth protection course and prevents groundwater from entering the foundation.
  19. The Damp Proof Course (DPC) should be properly laid and its top surface should be at the same level with the foundation walls.


Providing a good and suitable foundation for the house is the key to safe construction. Accordingly, it has to be seen that the soil on which the foundation rests has a good SBC and is capable of bearing the load of the structure. Soil testing is recommended in this regard.

Another area of ​​importance is the type of foundation provided for the house. If required, a civil engineer/foundation specialist may be consulted who can provide a structurally safe and economical method of providing/constructing the foundation.

A good and strong foundation is the first step towards providing structural protection to the house.

Er. Mukesh Kumar

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Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Funder at Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.