How to Prepare the Ground for a Concrete Foundation

If you're planning to pour a concrete foundation, the most important steps happen long before the concrete truck arrives. Proper soil preparation is essential for the success of your project, and includes removing weak materials from the surface, evaluating the subgrade, selecting suitable materials for use as infill, proper compaction, moisture control, and providing flat and uniform surfaces for concrete placement. To begin, dig the soil to the right depth for your concrete deck. You may want to rent a skid steer loader or excavator if you need to move a lot of dirt.

Once you've reached the desired depth, smooth the floor with the flat side of a rake so that you have a level surface. Then tamp the ground with a manual or mechanical manipulator. Finally, pour 2 inches of small, rounded gravel for additional drainage needs. Normally, grading contractors take the site to a rough slope through excavation, backfill placement, and compaction, while concrete contractors cover fine grading and compaction of the top few inches on their contracts.

Both parties must be included in pre-construction meetings to agree on specifications and details. The soil on which you build your concrete platform must be compact and well drained to ensure the best concrete slab results. This is also the case when foundations and utility trenches are filled without compaction and concrete elements are placed on top. By following these steps and taking care to properly prepare your soil before pouring your concrete foundation, you can ensure that your project will be successful and long-lasting.

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