The 3 Basic Home Foundation Types

3 Types of Home Foundations You Should KnowA foundation is the cornerstone that every home is built atop of. Without it, the home wouldn’t have the stability it needs to stand tall. Not all home foundations are the same, and there’s actually a few different styles that a home can use. If a home needs work on its foundation, an Apple Valley homeowner needs to know which type it has so it can be taken care of appropriately. Here are the three basic home foundation types that support most homes and what separates them from each other.

Slab Foundations

One of the most common home foundation types is the slab foundation. They don’t require very much prep work to be completed before building the home, so slab foundations are the foundation of choice for many homes without basements. Slab foundations are also one of the cheapest options due to how little work they require compared to others. This type of foundation is also fairly low-maintenance. 

However, if the foundation does ever crack or require fixing, those repairs can potentially cost a lot of money due to how they’re built. If the home uses newer technology such as PEX plumbing systems, there’s a much lower chance that builders will need to access that plumbing than if the home uses more common, traditional plumbing systems. Slab foundations also don’t provide very much protection for your home from bad weather.

Crawlspace Foundations

Whereas slab foundations are flush against the ground with no open space between them, crawlspace foundations elevate the home a few feet above the ground. This creates a space beneath the home and the ground called a crawlspace. Crawlspace foundations are less expensive than basements, but they can still take about the same amount of time to build. 

One nice thing about crawlspace foundations is that they provide easier access to the home’s wiring, piping and ductwork, which are much more difficult to get to in slab foundation homes. However, crawlspace foundations are prone to collecting moisture due to how they’re constructed, which means homeowners need to be prepared to deal with mold, mildew, and fungi growth. Fortunately, conditioned crawlspaces can help avoid this.

Basement Foundations

The original basements were built with cinderblocks, but structural failures were common with these basements. As a result, basements are now built with poured concrete walls at least eight feet deep. What basement foundation homes have that the others don’t is the ability to add square footage to a home without costing nearly as much as an addition. Even homes with a smaller footprint can have more living space than it appears if they have a basement.

Like crawlspace foundation homes, basements also give homeowners easy access to the home’s wiring, piping, and ductwork, and basements make it safer to access them, too. However, homes with a basement need to have a sump pump, or else they’ll risk the basement flooding. Basements are also the most expensive of the different foundation options. Another thing to consider with basements is that they often get very little natural light unless the design is built with windows in mind, so homeowners may need to get creative with lighting if they want to turn their basement into another living space.

A home’s foundation is what holds it up, and the specific type of foundation it is can affect it greatly. For each of the three major types of foundations discussed above, there can also be subtypes that suit more specific needs. Before choosing which type of foundation a new construction home should have, home buyers should thoroughly research all the available options to ensure they’re choosing the best one for their needs.

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