Groundworks - Foundations, Drainage and Mains service

Uncovered clay dig, Sheffield, 2008


A finished building may look good, but if the first stages of the build are not carried out correctly major problems can occur. When land is excavated to lay down a new footing a 600mm bucket is used.

A standard cavity wall construction is 300mm wide and therefore leaving a 150mm bearing of concrete on either side of the building wall.

The dig is the most important stage, it is not the strength of the concrete that determines the strength of the foundation, it's the land beneath.

You know when you hit solid ground when you reach yellow clay. Sheffield City Council local building inspector approval is required at this stage before you can continue with laying down the concrete foundation.


The two types of drainage are dual and combined.


Is when separate drains are laid for foul and surface water. The biggest majority of new build are done this way. Foul is disposed of whereas surface water is rerouted back to reservoirs and water plants.


In unusual circumstances a combined system may be used therefore surface water is fed into the same pipe as foul.

Mains service

At foundation stage a trench has to be dug to carry main services to properties.

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The pipe serving the water supply should be minimum of 900mm deep to prevent water from freezing in extreme weather conditions.

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The electric is laid at a minimum depth of 750mm. To prevent any possibility of electrocution while gardening a hard plastic matting is laid over the cable to warn you of the danger.

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The Gas supply is laid at a minimum depth of 450mm below surface.

Before filling in the trench carrying the mains service sand is always laid to prevent damage to the pipes.

If you would like a free no obligation quote regarding anything related to groundworks then by all means contact us.

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