Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents

What's the Difference Between Formwork and Foundation?

What's the Difference Between Formwork and Foundation?

Exterior renovationsWhat's the Difference Between Formwork and Foundation?

Building a house involves a series of steps, the first one being earthwork, which consists of cleaning and preparing the land on which the structure will be built. Next up, pouring the foundation, which is a crucial step that ensures the solidity of the structure and the house’s structural strength through the years. 

The foundation is, first and foremost, the base of the house, and it governs the weight distribution across the ground. To prevent any sort of unfortunate outcomes during the house-building process, it’s best to carry out a land and soil survey prior to undertaking any work. Based on the condition of the soil, the contractor will then be able to assess the depth at which the foundation should be poured. 

Moreover, the formwork is basically a mould, in which the labourers will pour concrete and, once cured, it will make up the foundation. Check out our article to know everything about formwork and foundations, two of the initial house-building steps. 

The Difference Between Formwork and Foundation

Building a house: The value of the foundation

foundation formwork

Source : Canva

The foundation’s structural strength ultimately depends on the type of soil on which it’s erected, as well as the quality of the materials used during the course of the construction process. Made of stone, concrete, and reinforcement metal, the foundation is anchored into the ground and ensures the house’s stability. 

Based on the soil’s specificity, the contractor will be able to determine to what depth the foundation should be poured. If the house is built on clayey soil, the foundation will be relatively deep as opposed to a foundation poured into rocky soil, where it doesn’t require as much anchorage, since the rocks are, by nature, very solid. 

Once the foundation is done, the next step is to pour a slab and mount the walls. Note that walls mounted on a solid and decent base are less likely to crack and break down over the years. As such, the foundation (the slab on which the structure rests) must be in accordance with the weight and the building’s surface at the risk of the residence collapsing. Best-case scenario, the house can be saved by means of repairing or replacing the foundations, or worst-case scenario, the house will be demolished. 

On account of the structural strength of the foundations, maintenance and renovation work won’t be as complex, or as costly. To ensure the condition of your foundations, the best recourse is to hire a building professional (architectural technologist, architect, or structural engineer). This is all the more important if you plan on putting your house on the market and would like to ensure there are no hidden defects. In fact, if the buyer discovers a significant fissure in the foundation after purchasing the house, they’re legally allowed to sue you for a latent defect.

Replacing Your House’s Foundation

foundation formwork process

Source : Canva

The foundation is indeed a structural component of your dwelling. A poorly made foundation can result in the building’s structural weakening, which often happens when renovation work isn’t undertaken in time. If you suspect problems ensuing from fissures, water infiltration, or uneven basement flooring, you absolutely must be proactive and rectify the situation right away.

Foundation renovation work can be quite expensive, especially if it requires heavy machinery and preliminary surveys to properly plan out the project. Also, note that this type of work requires both monitoring the safety of the house as well as that of the workers who are working beneath it. 

Are you experiencing a problem with your foundation? Here’s a related article about the cost of foundation repairs

What’s Formwork and How’s it Made?

foundation formwork

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

What’s the purpose of formwork?

The formwork is a temporary mould in which concrete is poured until it has completely cured. This element is vital in establishing the shape of the structure being built. 

What are the different types of formwork?

Made of steel or repurposed wood, side panels making the formwork are assembled one by one, with the goal of shaping the formwork’s panels. It’s super important that these panels are very straight with clear and defined edges to guarantee the foundation's stability. 

When should the concrete formwork be removed? 

Once the concrete foundation has cured, it becomes self-supporting. The next step will consist of removing the formwork, meaning the workers will remove all retaining panels. The hardest part resides in removing the planks holding the dry concrete. The challenge is removing said panels without so much as damaging the foundation’s concrete. For that reason alone, a lot more builders are using formwork that has been coated in oil made specifically for removing said mould so that the panels can be easily removed. Note that some formwork can be repurposed, on the other hand, others like insulating concrete formwork cannot. 

Using Insulating Concrete Formwork to Shield Foundations

insulating concrete formwork  

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The advancements made in regard to residential construction are such that engineers are multiplying innovations to improve the performance of new constructions. Said formwork consists of two cast-like panels containing high-density polystyrene inserts and is assembled prior to the concrete being poured. 

Insulating formwork panels are more efficient than traditional moulds since they're embedded in the concrete. As a result, the home's energy performance is also optimized.

Why should formwork be insulated?

The advantages of insulated formwork are relatively extensive:

  • Improves soundproofing of exterior walls;

  • Provides up to 3-hour fire protection;

  • Enhances the comfort of the flooring;

  • Has a stable and constant energy efficiency;

  • Facilitates energy savings;

  • Concrete poured into insulating formwork will withstand humidity, insects, and other types of deterioration that can occur over a lengthy period of time.

Some mistakenly think that insulating concrete formwork isn’t as valuable construction-wise since it’s more expensive than standard formwork, however, this technique is especially interesting in terms of value for money. As a matter of fact, labourers spend less time assembling the panels making up the formwork, which cuts back on their work hours. More so, this technique allows extending the walls all the way to the roof to create some kind of perfect continuity between the insulation and the structure, while also reinforcing the home’s energy efficiency. 

Get 3 quotes for your foundation renovation project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your foundation renovation project. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!


Last modified 2023-11-07

List of sources


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?


Table of contents


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.



Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

5 min read

Cynthia Pigeon • 07 Nov 2023

Cost of Custom-Made Kitchen Cabinets

Whether your kitchen is classic, modern, or farmhouse-inspired, it remains one of the most important parts of your home and renovating it has to be a project of its own. Given that it’s a focal point for gatherings and conversation, your kitchen has to be ergonomic and entirely tailored to your needs.

7 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 29 Jan 2024

Urban Garden: Growing a Green City-Based Oasis

An urban garden serves as a way to benefit from healthy greens right in the city. Experience growing greens in your tiny backyard and take pride in this new source of inspiration. It’s a genuine, lush asset to add to your landscaping. However, it’s not as easy peasy lemon squeezy as you might think. Between crop insect pests and urban pollution, here’s the must-have information to keep in mind before throwing yourself, hands deep, into this dirt-filled adventure.

4 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 07 Nov 2023

Five Useful Home Renovation Tips

Since home renovations can either be a great experience or a real nightmare, here are 5 useful renovation tips that will help you complete your project to obtain the best possible results.

4 min read

Karine Dutemple • 07 Nov 2023

How to Avoid Energy-Related Scams

If there is any certainty in this world, it is that there will always be dishonest people knocking on your door to try to extract money from you that you did not plan to spend.

2 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 07 Nov 2023

How to Paint the Exterior Walls of Your Home

Every few years, the exterior walls of your house may need a fresh coat of paint to give the house a new look. Learn more about the ins and outs of exterior wall painting with RenoQuotes.com's easy-to-follow advice and instructions.


Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!