Lessons from the Job Site: The Foundation

By Bro. Vince Kluth
When it comes to laying a foundation, there's a world of difference between someone who can lay cinder block, and someone who knows how to design and construct a foundation. 

When it comes to laying a foundation, there's a world of difference between someone who can lay cinder block, and someone who knows how to design and construct a foundation.  You just don't put bricks on the ground and move ahead. Many factors besides leveling the ground must come into view:  the type of ground on which you're building, the amount of compressive load it can carry (my clay handles 2,000 PSF, in case you're wondering), seasonal and environmental factors (expected snow load, rainfall during hurricanes, etc.), eventual building height, and type of building material -- all affect the design of the foundation.


The unfinished Kluth foundation, July 2021.

Furthermore, if the interior of the foundation sits in unconditioned space (meaning, no heating or air-conditioning in the basement), then you need ventilation, since ground water can seep up underneath the foundation and create a mold factory.  The ventilation openings need to be near the corners, and of sufficient cumulative square footage to carry out humidity using seasonal winds based on your region. In short, one needs to consider the top, bottom, and both sides of the foundation before you purchase one bag of cement!  I learned all this on-site and in near-real time since the guy I hired only excelled at laying block. (At one particularly stressful point, I was trying to decide where the crawl space opening should be while he was quickly laying block to finish by 4 pm.)


In the part of Texas where I grew up, people regularly water their foundations. Yes, that's right, they take the water hose and irrigate the foundational footprint, to keep the house from cracking. Apparently, the soil shifts with humidity, even with a rebar-reinforced concrete foundation.


The bottom line is that the foundation, once in place, effectively decides what the rest of the structure will look like in terms of shape, height, breath, width, and longevity. It determines if the building will be plumb and level. It determines what storms you can survive.  If that isn't a fantastic picture of the atonement of Jesus Christ, I don't know what it is.


All of my expended sweat, mud, and fears help serve to deepen my appreciation for the glorious foundation we have in Jesus Christ Himself. You and I frankly have no clue how powerful the forces of the devil are, nor how error can creep into the multi-generational life of a living breathing structure known as the church of God. Who can calculate the stresses the church collectively faces over the millennia? Who can truly lay a spiritual plumbline that points always in the Godward direction? Who knows how large a structure will be built, and in what order, and in what dimensions? In Revelation, God's church is depicted in the form of New Jerusalem.  Listen to the specifications: the wall of the city had twelve foundations ° the city lieth foursquare ° the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal (Rev. 21:14-16) That is stupendously impressive, considering that He made a perfectly cubic city out of imperfect people.  I, on the other hand, used blocks of the same consistent size, and rebar of the same thickness. That's almost cheating.  Truly, other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. It will surely stand the test of all time.



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