House Elevation Design
Phase 1: House Placement
Now that the excavation is complete, you can move onto the house elevation design and placing the lines and elevation for the footings and foundation. This is done by using the previously marked locations for the foundation walls. Place three wooden spikes at least 4 ft (1.2 m) beyond the lines of excavation for each corner, which you can then use to place the batter boards. Nail the boards horizontally and ensure that the tops of the boards are level and at the same elevation.
Next, place stout string across the tops of opposite boards at two corners and adjust the string so that it follows exactly the line of the outside edge of the foundation.
The building corners need to be square in order to move along with construction. There are two methods to determine this. Method one is called triangulation. With this method you measure a distance in multiples of 12 in. (300 mm) along one side of the corner. You then measure the same number in multiples of 16 in. (400 mm) along the adjacent side. The hypotenuse, or the diagonal, should have an equal number of multiples of 20 in. (500 mm) when the corner is square.
With the second method, you simply measure the diagonals, and if the diagonals are equal, the building corners are square.