What Are The 3 Types Of New Home Foundations?
By definition, the foundation of the home is the load-bearing portion of the building , usually constructed below the ground. At the very least, every foundation must do three things:
- Help the above structure
- Hold the groundwater out
- Acts as a barrier to water and soil vapor
That’s a lot of it. But, like anything in the home building, you’ve got options. Luckily, these options are very simple, and their relative advantages and drawbacks are very clear. And although determining what kind of foundation is right for your home isn’t the most exciting part of planning your house, it’s definitely one of the most critical (and early) steps.
In order to keep this article structured, we’re going to address the three types of foundations that you’re most likely to find in this market, beginning with the cheapest slabs.
A slab is one of the most common forms of base, requiring the least amount of lot ready to start building. Installation is easy compared to other forms of base , making slab foundations common among homeowners for their relatively low price tag.
Like all foundations, the slab begins with concrete footers poured 24 inches below the expected finishing grade. After the legs have been poured, at least two layers of concrete block are laid on top of the legs. After the blocks have been laid, all the internal pipes are installed. Then a rock filler is applied, followed by four inches of concrete poured on top of it.
If you build a house, a concrete slab makes sense because of its low cost. It’s the cheapest alternative available and, compared, it’s the fastest solution. In a short period of time, the right crew will lay a concrete slab base, and the drying process does not take much longer. Another advantage of the slab base is that there is no airspace between the house and the floor. As a consequence, there is no space for mold or termite infestation.
However, the slab foundations are not without blame. Homes constructed on slab foundations are vulnerable to heating due to lack of ventilation between the house and the slab. It is also difficult to patch leaking and damaged lines that are embedded in the slab itself. Moreover, the low-lying nature of slab foundations provides nothing in the way of flood protection.
Homes with a gateway base are raised a few feet from the ground. Like a slab, the base is poured, and then the blocks are laid to build the frame to support the walls of the building. Building a gateway foundation can save cost compared to the basement, but not necessarily time, as it takes just as much time to build as a complete basement foundation.
Crawlspace is potentially one of the most viable foundations in areas with a high groundwater level. Crawling room provides better protection against water and loose soil while at the same time providing better ventilation underneath the home during hot months. Crawlspaces can also be used to store outdoor objects.
The good ventilation provided by the crawling space during the summer months becomes negative during the cold months , making it slightly more difficult to heat the house. It is also possible for polluted water and moisture to be trapped in a crawling area and cause health problems. And, if the crawling room is not insulated and sealed, you may be asking for trouble.
The basement, literally, is an eight-foot (or deeper) pit that ends in a concrete slab. For a long time, the basement walls have been lined with cinder blocks. As a result, they have been vulnerable to structural failures and leaks as they age.
Nowadays, and especially at Reinbrecht Homes, all of them are made of poured concrete walls, which have practically removed most of the structural integrity and moisture permeation problems. Basements are excellent for anchoring the land to the ground when extending the base below the frost line of the field, which helps to preserve the integrity of the foundation over time.
Obviously, the greatest advantage of building or purchasing a basement home is the additional square footage and space. It allows for additional living room or storage and can provide an ideal opportunity for potential renovations. Basements can provide natural ventilation underneath the building, which can act as an efficient cooling mechanism during hot summer months.
Although the basement comes with a variety of benefits, you may expect to pay a high price for these features. The basement foundation is by far the most costly choice and, at the end of the day, will lead to more maintenance problems if not properly handled. Basements are infamous for having problems linked to flooding, moisture and mold.
Are You Looking for a Company to Build a Foundation for Your New Home?
Spaulding Concrete has been the SF Bay Area’s top foundation builders for over 30 years. We’re here to fix your home’s foundation, no matter what problem may exist. We have the specialized equipment, services and professional experience that you need to make permanent improvements to your building’s foundation. To get you started on the right foot, we would be happy to give you a free quote for the repair of the foundation. When you reach out by phone or email we will have one of our foundation experts answer any questions you have and explain how we can restore integrity and structural stability to your home or company building permanently. Successful concrete projects require careful planning and thorough preparation. Spaulding Concrete reviews the site and designs to ensure that the concrete and base structure follows the criteria for the planned use and that the layout and finishes are suitable for the project. The qualified concrete experts at Spaulding Concrete will be on schedule, on budget and meet or exceed standards by careful planning, professional execution, and strict quality control.
To schedule your free quote, contact us today! We are proud to serve Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and the surrounding areas.