Pros and Cons of the 3 Most Common Types of Foundations

Table of Contents

The foundation in residential homes serves to support the weight of the structure and is usually built below the ground. Acting as a barrier to soil vapor and water and keeping out groundwater, the substructures are vital to the integrity of homes. Basement, crawl space, and slab foundations are the most common types. Foundations come in different shapes and sizes, with each having its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Basement

Older basement foundations were built with cinder blocks, which were susceptible to leaks and structural failures. Newer foundations are made with poured concrete, which is much better at keeping out moisture and remaining structurally sound. If the foundation settles, it can be repaired or raised using different methods such as concrete slab Tulsa OK.

Basement foundations can add additional square-footage for less money and make access to repairs easier. Basements also provide shelter during severe storms. Basements are the most expensive foundations, have the potential to flood and can lack natural light.

Crawl Space

Crawl space foundations are elevated a few feet above the ground by pouring a concrete slab and then laying blocks on top to support the home. Like basement foundations, repairs are easier but require a bit of crawling. While this type of foundation is less expensive than a basement foundation, it takes almost the same amount of time to build. Crawl spaces are also susceptible to moisture, which can cause fungi and mold growth, and provide little protection during severe storms.

Slab

The most common type of foundation is the slab. It requires the least amount of preparation and time to build. The slabis made of poured concrete two feet below the surface with at least two layers of concrete block on top. Internal piping is installed next, followed by rock filler and another four inches of concrete to top it off. 

The least expensive of the three types of foundations, the slab is popular with budget-minded home builders. It also requires less maintenance than basement and crawl space foundations. The exception to this is when the plumbing under the slab needs repairs because, in order to reach the piping, the slab needs to be broken. Slab foundations offer very little protection from inclement weather

It is vital that all foundation types have proper drainage away from the structure to prevent moisture problems. Basement, crawl space, and slab foundations also serve to support the structural integrity of structures. Although all three types of foundations have pros and cons, if constructed properly, no type of foundation is likely to last longer than another.

Malika Lugar

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