May 2018 INSTALLING A CONCRETE FOUNDATION FOR A FOUNTAIN
It’s no secret that the key to any durable construction project is the proper and sturdy installation of a concrete foundation. A concrete foundation lays the base for a lasting installation whether it is an onsite cast construction project or fitting a precast installation like a water feature or fountain.
John Keats once said that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever” and while we agree, especially when it comes to the installation of tranquil water features and garden fountains, durability depends on the concrete foundation these stunning outdoor features are positioned on.
Creating attractive focal points to vast garden landscapes, adding a tranquil bubble to the urban backyard or simply enhancing the aesthetics of an already established estate, installing a water feature to your garden takes the calculated construction of a sturdy outdoor concrete foundation before its placement.
Water features, ponds and garden fountains are typically made of ceramic, stone or concrete and can be extremely heavy to start with, add water to the mix and if not installed properly, it can tilt, sink or crack as a result of an inadequate concrete foundation.
Installing any type of garden feature to your outdoor décor will require the concerted installation of an outdoor concrete foundation. The depth of the foundation required is dependent on the type of structure and soil quality. Installations placed on firm level surfaces will only require a shallow foundation to form an appropriate base and a more deep foundation will be required when placing the garden feature on a slope or under poor soil conditions.
Once the scope of your concrete foundation project has been determined, see to follow Sephaku Cements steps to laying an outdoor concrete foundation.
- Step 1:
Guided by mason’s string, measure the length and width of the desired foundation making sure that these measurements are larger than the base of the actual water feature. The border of the foundation needs to be as sturdy as the centre to prevent attrition and the chipping away of the frame over time.
- Step 2:
After determining the depth required, excavate the area removing soil, rocks, roots and other debris from the base of the foundation. Once excavated place a level on top of the cleared area to ensure that the surface is smooth from any bumps, slopes and crevices.
- Step 3:
Making use of lumber boards shape the concrete foundation along the measured length and breadth of the area. Press the wood firmly against the sides to create a straight and solid wall for the cement to rest against once poured.
- Step 4:
Before preparing to pour the concrete, spread a layer of river sand on the surface of the foundation once again being careful to smooth over evenly, creating a uniform surface.
- Step 5:
Using ready to mix concrete, slowly combine the cement with the correct quantities of water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully making sure not to add too much or too little water. Concrete mix that is either too thick (resulting in improper consolidation) or too thin (dilution with water) will adversely affect the strength and durability of the foundation, compromising the lasting installation of your water feature.
- Step 6:
Pour the concrete mix into the foundation guides, filling the framework and smoothing the surface over. Remove any unwanted air pockets by hitting the lumber framework with a hammer or rubber mallet, use a rake or broom stick on the rest on the concrete to consolidate and to get rid of all unwanted entrapped air, once satisfied that the surface is as level as possible, leave to cure between 1 to 3 days depending on the depth of the foundation.
Once cured the lumber framework can be carefully removed and the installation of your garden fountain can now proceed.