A good foundation is one of the most fundamental parts of building a house. A strong foundation ensures that the building is durable against the forces of nature.
When choosing between the several different foundation options, you need to consider two important factors:
- The type of building you want to erect, and
- The type of land you are building on.
As with any building process, there are pros and cons when it comes to the different types of foundations. We’ll discuss the three main foundations:
- Basement foundation
- Slab foundation
- Crawl space foundation
A basement foundation features a small basement, which can be used for living as well as storage purposes. With similar perimeter and concrete pillars used to support the structure of the building, the depth of the basement is usually at least 8 feet above the footing.
The problem with this type of basement is that it can be quite pricey to build and, if not maintained correctly, it is prone to mould and vermin. Plus, if you do not install proper drainage, the basement could flood, causing damage to the house’s foundation.
On the other hand, the basement provides an air space beneath the house that helps cool down the building during summer. The space can be used for dwelling or, if well-maintained, for storage. A basement foundation also allows easy access for repair work, such as leaking pipes.
The most common and low-cost house foundation is a slab foundation. This comprises of a block of concrete that is laid down for the house to be built on. The slab is around 10 to 20 cm in thickness and is embedded with steel rods. Water and drainage pipelines are laid prior to the pouring of the concrete.
Unfortunately, slab foundations are not easy to repair when it comes to any damage as the lines are embedded into the concrete. Also, due to the lack of ventilation, the house may heat up. The house is not protected from floods and is not easy to remodel either.
Slab foundations, however, are not susceptible to mould or termites, thus, this low-cost option is ideal for warmer climates where a lot of snow or rain is not present.
A crawlspace foundation features a small basement. The foundation is laid in concrete and supports an entire structure of a house. This foundation is ideally built on a soil land where digging is not a challenge. A concrete perimeter and concrete pillars and is strategically placed about 1 meter into the ground to support the house.
Because of the air space under the house, in winter the house may cool down too much. The crawlspace is hardly ever used for storage. The area is prone to vermin and mold as well as fecal matter from dust mites and stagnant water, leaving a decomposition odor if not effectively maintained.
The pros of a crawlspace foundation are that it is durable in areas that experience rain and has great ventilation, which comes in handy in the hot summer months. Flood vents can be added to the foundation to protect the house from floods.