What to Know About Different Types of Home Foundations
When building a home, its foundation is the essential block that supports the entire structure. Without a foundation, the home would lose a lot of it structural integrity and be at risk of collapsing. There are three main types of foundations that nearly every home will have one of: slab foundations, crawlspace foundations, and basement foundations. Each one has different advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important for home buyers to understand these types of foundations so they choose a home with the one that fits their needs best. Here is everything a home buyer should know about different foundation types.
Of all the different types of foundations, slab foundations are the most simple, consisting purely of a flat slab of cement that is poured into the ground. Because of their simple design, slab foundations are the most inexpensive of the different types, so if the buyer is purchasing a new construction home, then a slab foundation can help bring the price down. Their low cost also helps make them the most popular type of foundation for a home.
While slab foundations are a good choice for saving money, they don’t protect a home as well as other types, especially during storms due to the risk of flooding. In order to decrease the chance of the home flooding, the builders need to specially install extra drainage to protect the home. All of the home’s utilities will also be located beneath the foundation, so if they need repairing, it will be more difficult to reach them than with other foundation types.
Basement foundations provide easy access to the home’s utilities, and they also give the home more living space without increasing its footprint. A basement provides a lot of versatility because it can be kept unfinished to use as a storage area, or the homeowner can choose to finish it instead. From there, the homeowner can turn their basement into an extra bedroom, a living room, an entertaining space, or anything they can think of.
However, buyers who want a basement will have to pay a higher price due to the extra work and materials that are required to build one. Not all homes can have basement foundations, either: some locations may not be able to have basements built due to the soil composition.
Crawlspace foundations are the midpoint between slab foundations and basement foundations, and they’re the least common of the three. Cost-wise, a crawlspace foundation is going to be more than a slab foundation but less than a basement foundation. Crawlspace foundations solve one of the biggest problems that slab foundations have: because there is a space below the home in a crawlspace foundation, if a pipe breaks or something needs to be adjusted, someone can just climb down into the crawlspace and fix it with little issue.
However, crawlspaces aren’t an enclosed space like a basement is, and they are directly exposed to the elements and everything else that is outside. Crawlspaces commonly grow mold and mildew in humid climates or places that get a lot of rain. Fortunately, crawlspaces can be treated with a substance to help prevent that growth.
Each type of foundation has its advantages and disadvantages, so home buyers should plan accordingly when purchasing a new home. The type of foundation a home has can affect how it is to live in the home, so buyers should look for homes with the foundation that suits them best.