The danger of misunderstanding foundation terms

    SlabYour new home's foundation is the first and most crucial part for its stability. And knowing the basics about a home's foundation is your first step to making sure that you're making smart decisions when buying land to build a new home.

    We've heard questions and horror stories regarding mix-ups in terms regarding a home's foundation.

    For instance, one home buyer accepted a deal from a realtor who promised to include the "pad" with a land purchase. While the buyer thought that meant the foundation, it actually meant the only thing included was the dirt work, which is only the first and most temporary part of foundation construction.

    Let's clear up some of these terms so that you don't make misinformed decisions.


    This term is a cause for frequent confusion, as it can be used to vaguely describe the foundation of your house. Generally speaking, the "pad" of your home is the earthworks or sub-grade that provide the foundation on which all other parts of your home will be build.

    Another way to describe this is...

    Dirt work

    Before a concrete slab is poured for a home's foundation, the dirt work must be completed. Simply put, dirt work is the shaping of compacted dirt to form the shape that the slab will take. This is done to ensure that the home's slab is evenly supported.

    It's very important to note that dirt work is not permanent. That means that if it's decided that the home should or needs to be moved to another spot on the land, the dirt work is re-done in preparation for the slab's new location.


    Your home's slab is the concrete that forms the foundation of your house. There are different types of slabs, but their general definition is the same. After the dirt work of your house is completed, the slab is poured, upon which the rest of your house will be built.

    You don't need to know it all

    We don't expect the general public to understand the many terms involved in home construction. In fact, that's why we're here to offer a straight-forward consultation so that you know what's going into the construction of your home.

    Keep these terms in mind when discussing land purchase with a realtor. It's important to know the difference in case specific promises or terms are mentioned.

    If you have further questions about home construction, feel free to contact us at 405.285.2856.

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