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Everything You Need To Know About House Foundations

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Everything You Need To Know About House Foundations

The foundation of your house will influence everything to follow. Contrary to popular belief, your home's foundation can be as unique as your roof or siding.

Choosing the proper house foundation is one of the first steps toward building a home. Contractors must consider several details, such as temperature, climate, and budget before making the plunge. If you’re considering investing in a new home, you need a refresher on this fundamental detail.

Should you choose a slab or a crawl space? Here’s everything you need to know about house foundations.

What are the Three Types of Foundations?

The proper foundation for your house may be incompatible with someone else’s home. You must consider factors such as the environment and your budget before choosing.

Some foundations are also better suited to people who like to renovate a lot. Let’s take a look at the three most commonly used types of foundations.

Crawl Space Foundation

These house foundations earned their name for the little area of space beneath the home. Crawl space foundations use walls to prop up the home and are usually between three to five feet in length.

Concrete slabs aren’t ideal for freezing weather because the soil will contract, freeze, and shrink during a temperature drop. On the plus side, concrete slab foundations are pretty affordable and last a long time.

Concrete Slab

Another popular house foundation is the concrete slab. Unlike the propped design of the crawlspace, the concrete slab rests directly on the ground.

Concrete slabs aren’t ideal for very cold weather due to how soil will contract, freeze, and shrink during a temperature drop. On the plus side, concrete slab foundations are quite affordable and last a long time.

Daylight Basement

Last but not least, a frequently used house foundation is the daylight basement. These foundations are built against a slope, provide additional living space, and offer a wealth of benefits.

Many homeowners like to turn their daylight basement into a home gym, extra room for guests, or storage space.

Related: What Do Home Appraisers Look For In A House?

What are Most Home Foundations Made Of?

Most American homes use concrete slabs and crawl spaces for their foundation. Daylight basements are becoming more popular for families who want to age in place or have adult children moving back in.

Related: What Is The Cheapest Way To Build A House?

How is a House Foundation Built?

workers pouring cement on a house foundation

Human society has had plenty of time to perfect the art of building a foundation. While techniques vary a little from business to business, we have the general steps for a concrete slab foundation below.

  • Create an accurate site plan
  • Study the soil and climate for compatibility
  • Pour concrete to create the base
  • Erect concrete walls
  • Complete the slab floor

Related: What Does A General Contractor Do: A Guide For Homeowners

All projects need an outline. We provide custom site plans with a turnaround of twenty-four hours, Monday through Friday.

How Do You Dig a House Foundation?

Digging a house foundation starts with studying the soil to determine stability. The best soil is compacted and thick to reduce the risk of instability.

A house foundation usually needs a minimum of five feet. Colder climates often need extra room due to the build-up of frost.

How Long Do Home Foundations Last?

The longevity of a home foundation depends heavily on the carpenter's skill and the environment's compatibility. Some home foundations can stand firm for centuries!

Crawl space foundations usually last around fifty years. On average, concrete slab foundations can last up to one hundred years. You can use a few techniques to strengthen your foundation and give it a few more years of longevity.

Speaking of which…

How Can I Make My House Foundation Stronger?

a newly built home sitting on a strong foundation

Do you worry your foundation may show signs of age earlier than usual? Contractors have several valuable techniques to strengthen foundations on the fly. 

Try Underpinning a Weak Foundation

This technique is used if the foundation is starting to show cracks. Think of this tactic like giving your foundation a helping hand.

The most common underpinning techniques include:

  • Mass pour
  • Pile and beam
  • Piled raft

Mudjacking is Easy and Effective

This term is a little misleading since mud isn’t the key ingredient. Mudjacking strengthens foundations and also bolsters steps, decks, or porches.

House Lifting and Leveling is Best for Prevention

Does your home have a high risk for flood damage? You may need to use house lifting and leveling to protect your hard work.

Conclusion

House foundations are as unique as we are. We recommend giving this step a little extra consideration, because a poor foundation will result in a shabby house.

Most of today’s house foundations are crawl spaces, daylight basements, and concrete slabs. Building a foundation is often a straightforward affair after constructing a site plan and studying the environment. Foundations can also be made stronger using techniques like underpinning and mudjacking.

Once you find the right foundation for your needs, the flooring and roofing will easily follow suit.

Give your home foundation its own foundation. Contact us today for a custom site plan that steers your project in the safest direction possible.

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  • Ryan Crownholm