Foundations & Slabs!

slab before and after

In my last post, I shared with you all the progress on our property – from grading to forming the foundation.  And as of today, we have slabs!

This process is ridiculously exciting to me, it’s just silly.  I am asking all the annoying questions (“why are you doing this and that?”) and learning so much.


As a reminder, we are doing 3 separate buildings, as shown above: the main house, the barn, and the loft/garage.


Before this, I thought foundation and slab were the same thing.  I was wrong!  The foundation, formed above, is the edges of the building and the slab is the whole surface.


Here is the foundation forms getting filled and smoothed out.


Once the forms were filled and smoothed, rebar was placed vertically in the wet cement, which would be later bent down to tie in with the slab.


Next came the rocks and sand – piles of it!


The rocks and sand were spread out.


Then the moisture barrier.  I never realized how many layers went into the foundation and slab!


For the main house, we are doing radiant heat in the flooring, so we added an extra layer in the mix – a special foam that prevents heat loss below the slab.


We chose the color aggregate for our concrete.  Since we are having polished concrete on the first floor of the main house, I want very little aggregate to show.  But if it does, I want it to be in the grey family so it’s not so noticeable against the concrete.  I chose the top rocks, but later had to go with the bottom instead because the radiant heating guy was afraid of the sharper edges of the grey rocks and the possibility of them puncturing the lines.


After the foam, they added more sand, then bent the rebar and tied it in with more rebar, forming a grid over the entire surface.



Next came the radiant heat tubing (the red tubes).


It was tied down everywhere that would be exposed, so not under cabinetry or walls.


Lots of early morning excitement meant no sleeping in for the teenager!


Getting ready for the slab to be poured.


It was such a satisfying process to watch!


once the whole things was done and dry enough to walk on (by the evening), Sean sprayed a sealer on it that will help slow down the drying process in hopes to prevent any cracking.  We aren’t making any saw cuts in the slab because we don’t want to accidentally cut a radiant heat line, so most likely we will get some cracking – it’s just the nature of the concrete.  But we are doing what we can to hopefully prevent them!


Lines were made in the garage since we’re not polishing in there (Sean’s company will do epoxy in there later).



The slabs were almost too dry for me to get a little etching in!



And more exciting news:  the framing starts on Monday!  Things will move so quickly from here!

I am hoping to keep updates coming more regularly since the kids will be back in school starting Monday.  I’ll have those precious 2 days a week to myself – well, to work, make house decisions, run errands, etc. – but it’s more than i’ve had all summer!


  1. 1

    Wow! This really is exciting! Thanks for sharing all the play by plays of the process; it’s so interesting. I look forward to more updates and eventually the finished product. So happy for you and your family!

  2. 2

    I love seeing the process … never knew how many layers of stuff went into a foundation … if there is ever an issue with the radiant heating , do you just drill through the concrete? Living in the South, we don’t see a lot of heated floors.
    **THAT VIEW** is stunning.

  3. 3

    What progress! Your house looks like it is going to be amazing!

    xx, Elise

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