Test the Correctness of your foundation with Builder’s Square before its too late

Recently executing a project, I came across a badly done foundation which was paid for by the present owner of the land.
Builder square is a piece of iron in right angle (90*) form which is used to get accurately two adjacent walls in a building.
Architects do most of their drawings in straight lines and two walls meets each other at right angles except in few cases where the drawings are in circular forms.
The setting out of a building is what determines how a building will manifest in the future , and the most important instrument you need is the builder’s square to be able to get a perfect building done.
When your builder is ready to transfer what is in plan to the ground he makes sure the right angles are gotten and checked with the square, infact he needs to check and recheck to be certain. This is in itself the foundation of your building. A well laid foundation will make your work easier, you won’t have to spend money and time adjusting errors that will be generated because of bad setting out.
When the rope is tied round the peg and the squareness of building confirmed, the next thing is to start digging, but you as a layman can quickly arrest a badly set out building by just taking this check—Measure the diagonals of the square formed round the building by the ropes, if one is shorter to the other then the setting out is not correct, quickly call the attention of your builder.
However if you have passed that stage you can also determine if you are on the right part by using the square against two adjacent blocks laid on the foundation. Make sure one side of the square rest perfectly with one of the blocks then check the other side with the plane of the corresponding block, if the block and the square are not at the same angle then the setting out is faulty and you need to call the attention of your builder and correct it immediately, hence
(i) The walls will not be straight and it will affect the beauty of your house.
(ii) You will spend more money adjusting the visible errors in the future.
(iii) The ceiling of the rooms will be uneven and will generally give an ugly shape when looking at it from the room.

An architect with decades of experience

1 Comment

  1. Emmanuel, thanks for this. I only noticed this error after my house had gotten to lintel level and will have to live with the error, short of breaking down the entire walls. I have now learnt to carry out my own checks before allowing work to progress. I am sure this will prevent others from allowing this same mistake. God bless you.

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