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Conservatory Foundations

The foundations are arguably the most important part of any building. Although conservatoires are relatively lightweight structures, proper attention needs to be given to the type of foundations used, usually dictated by the ground conditions. The ground in Hertfordshire varies between chalk and clay, with “Brownfield” sites requiring special consideration.

The subject is far more complicated than can be dealt with here, but a brief summary is given below:

Conservatory Foundations in Chalk

Chalk is relatively firm and drains water away well. Nearby trees have no significant effect. Standard strip footings are most suitable as long as they are deep enough to be in solid chalk

 

Conservatory Foundations in Clay

Clay holds water and is susceptible to shrinkage as it dries and heave as it gains moisture. Nearby trees can draw up moisture causing shrinkage leading to structural problems.

Depending on the species of tree(s) and the distance from the proposed conservatory, the footing may need to be two to three metres deep. Depending on access, this can be an expensive, time consuming and messy operation.

 

Conservatory Foundations in Brownfield sites

Many new houses in Hertfordshire are built on sites that were once used for another purpose, hospitals, airfields, factories or even schools. Generally these get levelled by the developers, houses built then the garden back-filled with rubble and covered in top soil.

Some areas of the site may be on virgin ground suitable for a strip footings, other gardens may contain a substantial depth of rubble.

 

Conservatory Piled Foundations

In unfavourable ground conditions, piles can be the best option. We can use a highly portable rig in restricted access situations that will drive steel-cased piles deep into the ground, until they stop up at the require resistance. This is typically eight metres, though occasionally further.

This method eliminates the need for messy and expensive excavations. The piles are normally done in a day, with a second day to form and concrete the reinforced ground beam. The brickwork is then built up form this and a suspended concrete floor used.