Different Types of House Foundations for Your New Home
Foundations are the core of a constructed building. Without it, the design wouldn’t stand and thus, would be functional. Rendering its importance we must know more about it and understand its making and purpose to know what will suit, the site, the design, the budget, and everything else that affects it. Let’s take a peek into understanding the same with this article.
Know the Types of House Foundations
1. Concrete Slab
Being the most common form of a slab, it is laid as a single layer of flat surface on the ground. All that is required to make this is to pour the mixture onto the mold after casting beams of 2’ depth surrounding the lab. In this form concrete tension cables or steel, rods can be used to enhance the load-bearing capacity.
2. Slab-On-Grade Foundation
The Floating Slab Foundation or Slab-on-Grade foundation is one among the types of foundations, that are detached from the ground and made using a pour-over mold for concrete. The concrete once dried is set as a plinth on supports, used mostly in cold weather to protect it from being damaged due to the temperature.
3. Crawl Space Foundation
As the name suggests, types of House Foundations of this nature create an interior buffer space between the ground and the floor, by being raised using footings or exterior block walls. This buffer space is only wide enough for someone to crawl with the height of the steam wall supporting it being short.
4. Raised Foundation
Similar to Crawl Space House Foundations, Raised foundation types use footings and perimeter foundation walls to raise the slab from the ground. Typically used in construction along the coastal regions, this method is used to prevent the construction materials from degradation. These are also low maintenance and work best for sloping sites and areas that are flood-prone.
5. Basement Foundation
Due to its location, the Basement foundation becomes one of the deepest types of House Foundations, made using the perimeter walls along with the basement. Having a basement is beneficial in case you need extra space for accommodating someone or other storage things. These are durable and protected from extreme weather, and become a necessity in the area experiencing cold weather.
6. Full Basement Foundation
Full Basement Foundation is one that is a classic, which is made to cover the building footprint as a solid block, giving proper support to the whole structure. The process for the building starts with 8 feet deep holes being dug to replicate the space on the ground floor. Structural foundation walls then run around to bring together the space that is usually converted into a gym, working studio, etc.
7. Daylight Basement Foundation
These foundation types are built so that a partial portion of the basement remains above ground. This partial opening brings in daylight onto a normally dark and dingy basement. The brings in ventilation and light thus, renders the space to be more livable compared to a standard basement. This kind of basement is usually a built-in area that has a slope, which naturally gives way to a portion of the basement being exposed above ground.
8. Pier Foundations
Built-in more difficult terrains that have steep slopes, and roots growing above ground, these foundations use long vertical posts to support the whole house. Piers are drilled into the ground using concrete footings and the beam is then laid on top. The network of beams extends from one pier to another building the framework on which the house will rest.
Materials That Go in House Foundations
1. Poured Concrete
As the name suggests, these types of House Foundations are made by pouring concrete onto a premade mold. This method renders a finish that is seamless for a foundation. It is poured onto the top of the gravel to provide for drainage. Once the mixture is completely poured it is shaken or vibrated using the machine, removing the air trapped in it. Calculated placement of rebars is also done for strength.
2. Precast Concrete
Precast concrete foundations make the building process easy, as it is among the types of foundations that are made elsewhere. These pre-manufactured components are then brought onto the site to be assembled as a foundation. This form of concrete has immense strength due to the reinforcements that are used to make it.
3. Concrete Masonry Units
This form of construction uses hollow concrete blocks to be placed in a bond to form the foundation walls. The reinforcements for the structure are placed before the blocks and then are joined using masonry to complete its making.
4. Wood House Foundations
Being an element that can be used in any way in a construction process and it can be used in the foundation as well. As wood is a natural material prone to several damages due to moisture and organic matter underground, it needs to be treated properly before it can be used as a foundation. After which it is fixed with gravel or concrete footings and fastened properly.
5. Stone Foundations
Unlike other types of House Foundations, the stone is not very commonly used for a foundation. The key factors of its strength and easy availability make it stand out. Unlike wood, stone doesn’t face any distortion due to natural factors like moisture. The masonry is built on a base of evenly poured concrete topped with mortar to fix the first layer and move up similarly forming the foundation.
Types of Home Foundation Construction
1. Pre-Poured Slab
These types of House Foundations are one of the fastest ways to build. Due to its high quality and the fact that it is pre-made, it might be more expensive than the traditional method.
2. Footing & Stem Wall
The footing and the steam wall are two forms of work that get done first. It consists of concrete footing below the ground which is then connected to a runway of blocks that form the stem wall. The runway block covers the perimeter of the house with a height that reaches the ground floor slab.
3. Pier & Beam
The House Foundations’ work is usually done by inserting piers into the ground and connecting them with beams on top of which the house rests. Raising the house a bit from the ground opens up crawl spaces that are used to access utility lines. These types of House Foundations are used mostly in flood-prone areas and coastal areas where the houses need a form of elevation to form the ground.
4. Slab on Grade
This is a method in which the concrete pour connected three elements. i.e., footing, stem wall, and subfloor. To take the load from load-bearing walls, the footings are replaced with deeper trenches where the walls go in, while the slab is constructed a few inches thick. The walls are also reinforced with added materials to increase their strength.
Climate Directing the House Foundation Requirements
1. Dry Hot Climate
A dry hot climate is where the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, as well as the soil, is less. This will result in soil lacking a hold for these house foundations. The lack of moisture causes these types of House Foundations to crack. To prevent this, one needs to provide houses in such regions with an economical slab foundation or stem wall foundation.
2. Warm Humid Climates
On the opposite hand, soil and climate that has a hold on moisture due to humidity in the atmosphere are found to be rich in minerals and gases as well. This composition can easily affect the foundation by penetrating, resulting in organic growth. Thus waterproofing of these types of House Foundations needs to be an important step for building houses in such regions.
3. Cold Climate
In regions that experience colder temperatures, the moisture present in the soil can easily freeze and become stiff. This will result in the soil around the foundation being unstable. This problem can be solved by giving houses deeper types of house foundations. For it to grip on stable soil. This will mean that the footings need to be fixed beneath the frost line.
Expenses Behind a Good House Foundation
A House foundation cost not only includes the building of the foundation itself but also will include the maintenance and repairs that it will require throughout the years. It will also depend on the kind of house foundations you are looking at installing and what you have a budget for. Based on these factors, the foundation for a home can cost from $4118 to $13194 on an average and can reach up to $25000 if you go for the top high-end method.
For the repairs that come over time, it might cost you somewhere between $2318 and $6750. These repairs can be cracks that have formed on the foundation to water seepage. If you have to replace the foundation, the price range for that is from $20,000 to $100,000. As this is a major step to execute, consulting professionals before finalizing it is the best way to go.
How to Choose a Home Foundation Type?
Choosing foundation types will depend on factors that range from the site conditions to the design you want to see at the end of the process. It is important that before you jump into fixing the different types of foundations for homes, you evaluate the following factors and arrive at foundation types that satisfy each of these conditions.
- The purpose of getting a house foundation needs to be identified. If you need extra space for multi-purpose use, or just in case, then a crawl-space foundation or a full basement foundation might be the right way to go. If you are simply looking for stability in structure then a slab foundation is apt for you.
- Climatic conditions are something we do not have control over. Thus, it becomes a key aspect of choosing the right house foundation. In areas where there are increased chances that the soil will freeze, pier foundations will fit perfectly. On the other hand, if you live in a regular climatic condition then the standard concrete slab will be enough.
- If the soil is on-site is stable then the topsoil itself becomes enough to hold on to a strong and hard foundation. If the soil on site is extremely unstable on top layers, digging deep to fix a pier foundation might do the trick.
- Watertables need to be kept in check as their levels can affect the plumbing and drainage. It can also affect the different types of foundations for homes as water seeping into it can damage the house foundation.
- Choose the location of your utility lines like that can be an aid in preventing the damage caused to the foundation. This will determine how one of the different foundation types will sit and support the structure.
- If your interior design will include any specific aspects, you can also choose an appropriate foundation. The need for extra space can be remedied with a basement foundation while resistance to fire can be brought in with concrete slab foundations.
Problems with the Types of Foundations
The problems faced by the foundation construction can range from the water content of the soil to the foundation cracking thus, weakening the structural integrity of the house.
- The presence of large amounts of moisture in the foundation can attract termites, can cause wood to rot and decay, etc.
- Smaller issues like cracks on the floor, broken chimneys, etc, can be caused by the movement of your foundation. Keep an eye for horizontal and 45-degree angled cracks as these indicate serious problems to your house foundation that needs fixing right away.
- Uneven floors can also be a result of faulty types of foundations. This might be a slight issue, but when it comes to the elderly and children, it becomes easier for them to trip over it.
- Minor problems like the doors of your rooms not closing and opening properly can also be a sign of a damaged foundation.
- A similar occurrence can happen with cabinets and counters as they might separate from the wall due to a faulty foundation. As walls shift from the issue, so does everything on it.
The different types of House Foundations are an important element of any building and building a strong and proper one is key to having a great house built on top. With time it will face problems and issues that need to be observed and taken care of immediately. With the proper care and supervision, you will be able to give the right house foundation for your home and maintain it for a long time.
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