Checking The Building For Square

The most important thing when building a home is the ability to keep everything as square, plumb and level as possible. Starting with the foundation, if the foundation is not square or level, the rest of the house is going to be out of alignment.

You've probably heard the saying, start with a good foundation. This applies to the building industry as well. There are quite a few ways to build a square foundation, it all depends on what kind of tools you have, to build it with. Some of these tools can be quite expensive but it used every day can save you a lot of time and of course time is money.

You don't need expensive tools to build a square foundation. You could actually build a square foundation with less than $100 worth of tools. It might take you a little longer but could be done.

Let's start with the 3 - 4 - 5 rule.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so let's look at the picture below to get an idea how to check something if it's square and correct it.

Okay lets see if I can explain this in layman's terms. If no West side of the foundation is 3 foot and the north side of the foundation is for foot, then the diagonal measurement from the southwest corner to the northeast corner would be 5 foot.

This can also be done using 30' x 40' should equal 50 foot. You can use this if the building is large and you need to check it for square.

The diagram below shows you another way to check the foundation to see if it's square.

By measuring the foundation diagonally from each corner, the measurement should be exactly the same. If it isn't, the building is out of square and should be adjusted before the concrete is poured. This measurement should always be checked before you get too far along in the form building process.