If you’re a homeowner, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about the foundation of your home. But if you’re looking at building a new home for you and your family, the type of foundation you’ll have is one of the first choices you’ll have to make as part of the design process.
The foundation is the most important structural element of your home, as it essentially bears the entire load of your house. It must be designed in ways that prevent groundwater from penetrating your home, and that will help avoid significant shifting in the land that could wreck your property.
With this in mind, here’s an overview from an excavator in Jeffersonville, IN about the various types of home foundations you have to choose from:
- Basement: Basements are more common in some areas of the country than others—here in Indiana they’re found frequently in residential areas. While they are the most expensive option for foundations, they also provide the most value to a home. Basements add usable square footage to the home without increasing the footprint it rests on. They can be unfinished storage spaces or finished and turned into additional living space.
- Crawlspace: Crawlspace foundations can be used along with or in place of a slab (see below). Here, you’ll need to pour footings, and then put cinder blocks on top of those footings to support the walls of the home. A crawlspace foundation is generally located a few feet above the ground, which creates the opening underneath the structure, which is the crawlspace to which we refer here. There are a few advantages, notably that plumbing is not buried, meaning repairs and maintenance can be performed a little more easily. You can also close off the crawlspace to keep the air conditioned to prevent transfer of air into the home.
- Slabs: In areas where the water table is too high for a basement, solid concrete slabs are likely to be the most common type of foundation. They are both simple and cost-effective, which makes them particularly beneficial for homeowners on a budget. They require significantly less maintenance than other types of foundations, though cracks in the slabs can form in the presence of expansive soils. Slabs are ideal for level ground—installing a slab on a sloped area might be a little more difficult and less advantageous.
- Pier and beam: The final type of foundation you could choose is a pier and beam foundation. In this type of setup, piers get drilled down deep into the soil to rest on top of solid rock, and those piers then support large beams that hold up the house. The house is not nearly as likely to shift around in this type of foundation. It is a more expensive option than a slab, but does offer some reliable long-term support for your home.
For more information about the various types of foundations you might choose for your home, contact Estes Excavating Inc. to speak with an excavator in Jeffersonville, IN.
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