3 Common Types of Foundations
An important decision every home owner must make when it comes to building a new house plan is the type of foundation required. In many cases, the foundation selected is dictated by the region's soil and moisture conditions, climate, project budget and more. The three most common foundation types are: basement, crawlspace, or slab-on-grade. While other variations are possible, these are the main options you will encounter when you build your new home.
Here are the pros and cons of the three types of foundations to get you started.
Basement foundations are a very popular option across the United States. Basements are built using a concrete perimeter that supports the home's above-ground levels. In walkout/daylight basements, it is common for 2x6 framing to be used in areas where windows and doors are located. Typically, basement heights will range between 8-10 feet above the home's footing.
- Additional square footage for extra living space, storage, or future renovations
- Ability to install additional wires/piping easily after construction
- Increased re-sale value of home
- Shelter during extreme weather
- HVAC is located in conditioned space making it more energy efficient
- Higher cost to build compared to a slab or crawlspace
- Need a sloping lot if a walkout basement is desired
- Must be properly maintained to avoid issues related to flooding, mold, and moisture
Crawlspace foundations are most popular in moist climates where water is likely to accumulate. Other scenarios that may require a crawlspace are areas where the soil is tough to dig through. Typically, a crawl space is 3-4 feet high with concrete pillars to support the structure above.
- Very durable foundation in areas with a high groundwater level
- Provides ventilation underneath the house during hot summer months.
- Less likely to be infested by termites
- Moisture issues that make it prone to mold and fungi buildup
- Easy access for unwanted pests
- HVAC in unconditioned space
The most commonly used foundation in modern home building is the concrete slab. Slab foundations are typically formed by a block of concrete and range between four to eight inches in thickness. The concrete slabs are reinforced with steel rods and drainage pipes.
- Lower cost than a crawlspace or basement
- No issues with mold or termite infestation
- Quickest foundation to construct in a short period of time
- Lack of ventilation between the home and the slab make it susceptible to warming
- Difficult and expensive to repair leaking and damaged lines embedded into the slab
- Low-lying nature offers little protection against flooding
- HVAC located in the attic (unconditioned space)
The beauty of building a brand new home plan is the ability to make it fit your needs. Explore our House Plan Styles and choose the home of your dreams. If the foundation you prefer is unavailable our team of experts can modify it to fit your requirements.
- Joanne Loftus