What Are Foundations?
Foundations are the load-bearing structures that support the weight of the entire house. As the name suggests, these structures are called foundations because the entire house is built upon them, and so naturally, the construction of a foundation is the first step when it comes to building a home.
For most homes in the United States, the foundations are constructed underground, which is why once the house is finished, the foundations are difficult to reach and repair.
1. Concrete Slab House Foundation
A slab foundation also referred to as a mono slab or monolithic foundation, is a single-piece, flat concrete slab laid on the ground. The fundamental benefit of a concrete slab foundation is that it is less expensive and takes relatively less time to build.
The installation of a slab foundation is a simple process. First, a two-foot-deep concrete beam surrounds the perimeter of the slab, with steel bars and wire mesh embedded within the concrete. The house rests on a plain flat concrete slab, so homeowners won’t have to worry about any crawl space-related maintenance concerns.
An added benefit of this foundation is that it has little to no weak spots that could crumble over time and warrant costly foundation repair difficulties. However, concrete slab foundations are rarely found in frigid climates because as the earth freezes and thaws, the slab can begin to fracture, causing it to shift.
The house’s plumbing, including the sewer and drainage pipes, is installed before pouring concrete. This means that to access the pipes in the event of a plumbing or sewage problem, you’ll have to cut into the slab, which is a significant disadvantage of this foundation type.
2. Crawl Space Foundations
Crawl space foundations involve forming short foundation walls, also known as stem walls, on solid concrete flooring. The entire structure of the house is then built upon these foundation walls. This means that the house is slightly elevated from the ground creating a small space beneath the house that a person can crawl into. The space is often utilized for storage purposes.
One of the most significant advantages of this type of foundation is that elevating your home above the ground offers better protection against house floodings. Furthermore, the crawl space also makes it easier to access the underground wiring, plumbing, and other mechanical systems. Raising the foundation of a house also raises the entire structure, making it more aesthetically beautiful. It’s also a more cost-effective alternative than a basement foundation.
On the downside, crawlspaces are pretty susceptible to mold and mildew infestation because moisture and warmth from the earth can quickly accumulate in these spaces, paving the way for these fungi to set in.
3. Basement Foundations
The construction of basement foundations starts with an eight feet hole that can facilitate an underground living space. Then, structural foundation walls are built around the perimeter of the basement on top of concrete flooring.
The primary benefit of a basement foundation is the additional living space that it provides. Basement foundations are long-lasting, fire-resistant, weather-resistant, and can serve as excellent shelters against storms.
Basement foundations are the most expensive types of house foundations, and unless you build a basement with a skylight, the space formed by this foundation can feel cramped and cave-like due to the absence of natural light. If you live in a flood-prone area, it is advisable to avoid building a basement.
House Foundation Contractors
With so many types of house foundations, a homeowner may find it challenging to identify which foundation would be better for them. With E & L Star Construction, you can lay all your worries to rest. Given our years of field experience and a team of expert foundation contractors, you can expect everything will be handled professionally. Call now at (713) 815-5825 and get your home construction started!