Foundations 101

Foundations

Basement

Basement foundations are built using a set of concrete pillars that hold up the building’s structure. Basements have the advantage of adding extra square footage and offer protection from the elements. But be careful—spending too much time underground can be dangerous. Learn more about Radon exposure here.

 

Concrete Slab

These foundations are reinforced with steel rods and drainage pipes. While cheap and quick to build, homes built on concrete slab foundations oftentimes lack ventilation and are more likely to be damaged from flooding.

 

Crawlspace

A crawlspace foundation can be thought of as a midpoint between a concrete slab and basement foundation. The space itself is typically about four feet high, and the structure above is reinforced by concrete pillars. Crawlspaces are ideal for homes in areas prone to natural disasters like earthquakes (since shifting ground can quickly destroy a concrete foundation) and floods (because the space offers better protection against water and loose soil while providing better airflow).

 

Pier

A pier foundation is made from circular wood posts set into the ground to support the home’s structure. While very expensive to construct, this type of foundation has the benefit of sturdiness and longevity.

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