The cabana was designed to be built on a concrete slab – a very common approach to seasonal structures. The architect was aware of the imported fill on the site and specified the concrete pier footings be dug down to virgin ground. The fill was a minimum of 5′ deep. You can see the ladder coming out of the excavation where the sonotubes are set. The builder used The Bigfoot System with sonotubes to provide maximum load bearing capacity.
Once the sonotubes were filled with concrete the excavation could be closed and compacted. A wood form for the concrete slab was then constructed and filled with clean gravel. Fill dirt was added to the outside of the forms for support. There was no concern for “settling” because the entire structure was suspended on the concrete footings.
While the cabana had its own utilities planned, the pool equipment was to be positioned directly behind the building. This scenario works out well because they actually share many of the services (e.g. electric, water, gas, etc.) and the integration is fairly straight forward.
With the wood form set and supported, steel reinforcing rod is positioned per architect’s specifications. I should mention that every criitcal step of this process has been inspected along the way. As much as a nuisance as these inspections can be, they are there to protect the homeowner. I keep telling myself that while we’re anxiously awaiting an inspection that will allow us to continue to the next step of construction.
Finally, we’re able to pour the concrete slab and get ready to frame the building. The slab is a visual milestone as it clearly shows its footprint on the site and its relationship to the other elements.
Also, having the concrete slab in place allows any other nearby grading or site work to be done. Often this milestone enables other aspects of the project to proceed such as base prep for the pool decking.
As you would expect, communication is key among all the different contractors. Good project management moderates this communication and weaves together contractors’ schedules with project phases.