House foundations

House foundations

House foundations types

Foundations are one of the most critical parts of a house or a building that supports and holds the weight of whole structure. In most of the cases foundations are in depth and concealed in soil where load of whole structure is transferred to earth. House foundations are designed according to the terrain, quality and hardness of soil of a particular area and can be of following types:

  1. Brick foundations
  2. Strip foundations
  3. Piles and raft foundations

In areas such as Lahore, lower and central Punjab or where the terrain is plain and soil is hard, brick foundations are most commonly used as shown in picture below. House foundations are designed and drafted by the architect under the supervision of a structural engineer who recommends depth, width and other technical specifications. However despite of all these recommendations, responsibility lies on the shoulders of on site in-charge, builder or contractor to take care of all required technicalities during implementation of drawings provided by the architect.

builders and contractors in lahore

There are certain precautionary measures that must be taken during construction of brick foundations. Very first step of brick foundations after getting the demarcation of plot is marking and layout. As it is a famous saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, in case of construction of a house or a building, marking is the first impression on a clean chunk of plot/land. If it is imperfect and faulty, whole house or the building will be same. If measurements, straight lines, set squares and levels are not checked during marking, all walls will be out of lines. Hence marking should be carried out very carefully under the supervision of expert and technical individuals.

marking house foundation 1 kanal grey structure

Once marking is complete, excavation is started width of which is advisedhouse foundation 1 kanal grey structure by the structural engineer in form of excavation drawings. Another important decision upon which the strength of whole building or a house depends upon is the depth of excavations, it should be made very much sure that excavation is not stopped until hard surface is reached. In areas such as Lahore, lower Punjab and other areas of central Punjab, because of the land being used for agricultural purposes in past, soil has become very hard and hard surfaces can be found at normal depths provided that plot is not located in area which falls in the category of landfills. Landfills are areas where soil from external sources is used to fill the deep pits in order to make it look like a level plot as in its surroundings. Constructing a house on such lands without soil tests and recommendations of soil engineer can be a risky task. Such lands might require raft and piles foundations to bear the load of building

After completing excavation, soil is compacted using level compactor and anti-termite spray is carried out using a renowned medicine. Base of floor is prepared in form of PCC or PCC with RCC as recommended in foundation drawings by the structural engineer. A typical house foundation drawing for brick structures is shown in picture below.

house foundations drawing pcc brick

Before starting brickwork, measurements are carefully checked and layout for brickwork is marked. As shown in drawing above, a centre line or a point for 9″ thick wall is marked that works as a reference point too. Brickwork is started with A quality bricks also known as “Awwal bricks” and 1:6 cement to sand mortar. Some people might recommend over burnt bricks called “khingar” however it is wise to use only best quality bricks in house foundations. Though over burnt bricks have maximum load bearing capacity but due to its irregular and uneven shape, it kills the aesthetic and appealing look of brickwork and might eat up more cement.

house foundations brickwork 8 marla house bahria orchard

Initial layers of brickwork in house foundations consists of wider layers as compared to standard thickness of walls i-e 9″, these layers are prepared strictly as designed by the structural engineer in foundation drawings. However straights lines, set square and plumb line of each wall and room should be continuously monitored at each layer. Before reaching the first damp proof course (DPC), whole brickwork must be in one level which should be checked using water level pipe i-e if DPC at front of house is at the height of 1 feet from road level, it should be same at rear and sides. Brickwork should be properly cured however extra ordinary or more than required water curing should be refrained from. Once foundations are complete in all respects, sufficient time should be given for walls to gain strength before starting backfill.

DPC, damp proof course, is another very important part of brick foundations that protects the house from earth dampness and seepage. A typical brick foundations drawing as shown in picture above consists of two horizontal DPCs and a vertical DPC. Horizontal DPCs are made with M15 1:2:4 (Cement, Sand & Crush) concrete whereas vertical DPC is done in terrazzo plaster.  Some walls that are main outer walls of house consist of two horizontal DPCs and a vertical DPC. Since porch and side passages of a house are mostly at a lower level as compared to internal finish floor level, hence these walls need to have a double DPC and vertical DPC in between both for complete protection from dampness and seepage, rest all internal walls of house have a single DPC.

As per experience and recommendation of Team Overc’s, though vertical DPC that a structural engineer designs and shows between two horizontal DPCs is enough to stop the dampness from travelling through, however extra measure and protection can be carried out by applying vertical DPC throughout the 9″ wall internally for walls with double DPCs only. Secondly plumbers should be asked to place the required drain pipes before terrazzo plaster as shown in picture below. In most of the cases when labor makes way for placing drain pipes, vertical DPC is damaged hence making that portion vulnerable against seepage and dampness.

house foundations brickwork 8 marla house bahria orchard

An alternate to DPCs and more substantial approach is plinth beam. A plinth beam is must in cases where houses and buildings are constructed as frame structures, however in brick structure, DPCs can be replaced by plinth beam too for more durability and an extra R.C.C pad can also be provided above the P.C.C base. However this quality and more durability can only be obtained at a higher cost.

house foundation p

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About The Author

Mohsin Munir
Holding a degree in BS EE (Electrical engineering) and astounding knowledge of house construction business since 2010, wide experience and relevant expertise in the construction business. Believe in research based strategy while holding a distinguished position in the construction market. Started at a small scale in 2010 and recognised among the top builders and contractors in Pakistan now, especially among the expatriates and overseas Pakistanis who always trusted in our commitment and services.


  • Ali Shahbaz on September 27, 2020

    AoA Mohsin Bhai , I have question , kindly tell me about durability of wall foundation of one kanal house either by providing footing beam or simple brick foundation .. give me example of two horizontal and one vertical DCP in external wall. soil condition of my plot is very hard…either i should go for footing beam or brick foundation thanks.

    • Mohsin Munir on September 27, 2020

      No need for footing beam if your soil is in hard condition. Footing rafts are only required incase soil engineers have conducted the soil tests which show the requirement of rafts.

  • Tehreem on January 21, 2020

    Asslam-o-Alaikum, Mohsin bhai your assistance is always valuable. May Allah grant u with jaza E khair.
    I want to ask about the reason and prevention for dampness on the wall area in between the window sill and the skirting OF FIRST FLOOR

    • Mohsin Munir on January 21, 2020

      Is it new house?

      • Tehreem on January 21, 2020

        Yes one year old only

        • Mohsin Munir on January 21, 2020

          Should settle down by now as it is very common in new houses due to moisture of newly installed tiles.

  • Hassan Qaiser on January 18, 2020

    Great job guys. You have summarize all the fact and figure in just one article. But add more pictures and videos so that we can understand more clearly.

    • Mohsin Munir on January 18, 2020

      Thanks for appreciating. Your suggestion has been noted.

  • ali on December 17, 2019

    Hi, what are the typical foundation requirements for a fill plot

    • Mohsin Munir on December 17, 2019

      Soil test must! And go for whatever soil engineer has recommended.

  • Chandankumar on December 11, 2019

    really awesome site, it shows that internet is growing and peooe can find many useful information. Thanks

  • ibrar ayyub on September 18, 2019

    Dear Sir Admin,
    Please advise any chemical to mix in dpc for better and strong blockage from the seepage as I came to know polythene gets compromised after few years. and capillary rise from dpc mixture is possible.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Mohsin Munir on September 18, 2019

      Search for ultra chemicals on google. They have a product for dpc specially.

  • masood on June 30, 2019

    Asalaam O Alaykum… please guide can we use Burnt brink Khangar in foundation for main wall from Bunyaadein of outside walls…..what are the drawback..or use only A grade Bricks……jazak Allah

    • Mohsin Munir on July 1, 2019

      As already explained in the article, I will always recommend using only A grade bricks in foundations. Khingar bricks will ruin the aesthetic look of your foundations and due to non uniform shapes there might by differences in set squares when you reach DPC level.

  • Sartaj on June 2, 2019

    R/sir! If the dpc height is 8 ft then what will be the plans? Whereas no buildings at the sides of the plot? Please guide me . I shall be very thankful to you and pray.

    • Mohsin Munir on June 2, 2019

      Your question is not clear at all. What are you trying to inquire? Kindly explain

      • ibrar ayyub on July 10, 2019

        سب سے پہلے ٹیم اور سیز کا شکریہ آپ لوگوں کا کام وقعی پروفیشنل ہے۔ سرتاج صاحب کا جو مسٗلہ ہے، میرا بھی یہی ہے۔ میرے۳ اطراف میں کوئی عمارت نہیں ہے۔ اور سامنے سڑک پلاٹ سے کوئی ۵ فٹ اونچی ہے۔ مطلب مجھے ڈی پی سی سات فٹ پر رکھنی پڑے گی، فائندیشن بہت زیادہ اونچی جائے گی۔ اس صور میں وہ آپ سے پوچھ رہے ہیں، کیا پلان ہونا چاہییے۔

        • Mohsin Munir on July 10, 2019

          Behter ye hoga k itni depth ki suurat mai aap column add kr lein thore beech mai aur agr plinth beam daal lein dpc ki jaga to behtareen kaam ho jaye ga.

  • Iftikhar Ahmad on March 28, 2019

    2720 sft (10 marla Plot) hai is ki foundation banani ktni bricks cement sand crush labor lage gi

    • Mohsin Munir on March 28, 2019

      Depends upon foudation drawings and actual site conditions such as depth of plot.

  • Mohsin Munir on March 4, 2019

    This is very much normal in Islamabad region I guess. Thats why structural engineers recommend raft or strip foundations in all cases. Even piles are required in some cases. It is better if you consult a soil engineer or structural engineer.

  • Zaman on March 3, 2019

    The foundation depth of a house is variable through out the plot. May be due to cost saving. I have seen in Islamabad. One side of plot foundation is 6 ft and other is 3 feet where soil is harder. Is it recommended?? Or not.

  • bilal Razaq on January 3, 2019

    any advise on rrc rebaring reinforcement on double beam foundations builders had not placed horizontal rrc couloms for walls which is already casted and all filled up to level foundation is 6ft

    • Mohsin Munir on January 4, 2019

      Your question is not clear and understandable. Kindly elaborate. What do you mean by double beam foundations and horizontal rcc columns?

      • bilal Razaq on January 4, 2019

        can i send you pics it would be more rectified

        • Mohsin Munir on January 4, 2019

          Yes you can attach the pictures here that will make it easy for me to understand.

      • bilal Razaq on January 4, 2019

        have you recieved any pics

        • Mohsin Munir on January 4, 2019

          where have you sent?

          • bilal Razaq on January 5, 2019

            as I can’t upload pics on reply box simply need to add new rebar rcc couloms on exsisting footings wich already have been casted concreated thanks

  • shahid abbbas on September 22, 2018

    how much bricks required for foundation . Plot size 20×45 foots 4 sides only

    • Mohsin Munir on September 23, 2018

      Can not estimate without details and drawings!

  • Irfan on September 3, 2018

    What is ur recommendation in foundation, brick blast or bjr .

  • aftab on May 14, 2018

    how much it cost to build one kanal house with basement ?

    • Mohsin Munir on May 14, 2018

      Dear Aftab,
      We have complete blogs on costs. You can find it in categories section.

      However if you are looking for a tentative figure then it can be anywhere between 150 lacs to 225 lacs depending upon various factors.

  • Abdulaziz on April 27, 2018

    Dear Mr. Mohsin , Please share your personal email address , need to discuss some details. Thanks

  • Naeem Ur Rahman on April 20, 2018

    Tell me one thing sir, People commonly use Khinger brick for foundations, Is it okay??

    • Mohsin Munir on April 20, 2018

      Dear Naeem

      As I have already explained in the article, though khingar bricks have maximum load bearing capacity, but it will kill aesthetic look of foundations, consume more cement, and can disturb levels and set squares.

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