Foundation Types

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Depending on the climate and living conditions of an area; foundation styles will change on the homes. In an area where flooding is common a raised foundation will be seen more. Places where the ground freezes will have their foundations propped up on a T-shape. These subtle differences are why it is best to contact a professional for the work. A well-constructed foundation is the first step to a great build. Before you call that professional though here is a guide to foundations.

The Raised Foundation

A raised foundation is common in areas where rain and flooding are a seasonal inevitability. These homes are built on stiles and are designed to keep the house away from floods and other dangers. The stiles are treated wood and are spaced 8 to 12 feet apart. This style is more of a novelty, but the design is popular in swamp areas and close to riverbeds.

The Pros

  • The home is out of the way of pests and flooding.
  • The view is great.

The Cons

  • It is very difficult to build properly.
  • The home is hard to access.

The Crawlspace

A variation of the raised foundation is a crawlspace. The home is built with a slight elevation so the owner can slide underneath to make repairs. The home is built on a concrete wall that supports the girders and floor joists. The raise on a foundation with a crawlspace has 3 to 4 feet clearance.

The Pros

  • More practical for flood prone areas.
  • Utilities and duct work are easy to service.
  • Moisture is easily controlled.

The Cons

  • Winter weather can freeze duct work and utilities.
  • A breeding ground for insects and other pests.
  • Mould problems.

The Slab

Warmer climates have a simple slab construction. An area is dug out for a pad of concrete. Layers of gravel are laid down at first. After the gravel is spread, there is a pattern of steel bars that form a shape for the concrete pad. Then the concrete is laid on top of it.

The Pros

  • The cheapest form of foundation.
  • A quick building time.

The Cons

  • Utilities must be run through the top of the home.
  • No storage areas.
  • Pipes systems are buried under the concrete. This makes it very expensive to make repairs.

The Basement

 

The most desirable foundation involves a basement. A basement is a dug out floor that extends 8 to 10 feet below the rest of the house. 1 or 2 windows are installed for safety issues and a concrete slab is poured in the bottom for a floor. Basements are one of the most common foundations because they offer storage and protection during bad weather.

The Pros

  • Adds value to a home.
  • Extra living space.
  • Provides protection during storms.

The Cons

  • Basements tend to flood during wet weather.
  • Mould is a problem.
  • The most expensive foundation to build.
  • Extra maintenance is required to prevent flooding and other problems.

No matter where you build your home the foundation is the most important part of the build. Many factors have to be considered when building a new home or business. The climate and soil type are very important to a firm build. This is why professionals should be consulted for the work. A foundation is a serious project.

Author

Dan