Do you know the purpose of a foundation? There are a few main reasons behind having a foundation.
- The first reason is that the foundation is built to support the load of the house. The house needs to stay under the foundation’s bearing capacity.
- Second reason to have a foundation is to keep the ground water out of your house. Damp foundations make your foundation weaker, drainage material like sand and gravel allow the water to pass through instead of getting stuck and pooling. Waterproof seals are not enough to fix a bad drainage system.
- Foundations also protect you from polluting the indoor air quality. Soil gases and water vapor can be dangerous to your home and family.
But how do you pick the right foundation for your area, home and budget? Here are the most popular foundations.
A slab foundation is built directly on top of the soil. These foundations do not have a basement or crawl spaces. Less resource-intensive and requiring minimal excavation, this is the cheapest foundation choice. However, without a basement or crawl space this choice is less secure during a storm because there are not as many materials securing a home in place, as well as less living space. This may be the cheaper cost upfront but with the plumbing and air system being enclosed under the slab, future problems may have heavier costs.
Crawl space foundation is a foundation where the footing is poured with short foundation walls to support your home. These walls sometimes are only 16-18 inches deep. Crawl spaces keep the utilities accessible, however they will need insulation and a vapor barrier to help protect against mold. Crawl spaces do eliminate the issues that can come with a slab foundation, but they still don’t provide strong anchoring for storms or additional living space.
Basements & Walkouts
Many people that live in an area that tends to get cold have basements or walkouts, the reason behind this is when putting the footings in for your new home they have to be below the frost line to avoid future weather damage. In cold climate regions, such as the northeastern United States, the frost line can be deep. So most people decide that if they are already going to have to build that deep they might as well just add some more living space on to their home. Basements can be finished and made into great living spaces and allow easy access to the plumbing and air system.
Pier foundations are small square or circle pads of concrete located at numerous locations on the perimeter of the structure. They support the floor joists and exterior walls of the structure. This type of foundation is used when other foundations would be too difficult to use. The number of pads is based on the size and weight of the building.
It is always best to discuss with your excavation contractor before deciding on what type of foundation is best for your home. Knowing all the information before making that decision is what can save you thousands of dollars in the long run and have less stress on you and your family.
Request a consultation today with New England Enterprises to start planning the foundation to your new home.