When you’ve decided to build a home, there are many aspects of the process that you have to make decisions about. From flooring to appliances and floor plans to paint colors, there are many important things to think about. Have you thought much about the foundation options for your home?
The foundation on your home is like the legs and feet of the human body in that the foundation is the anchor and support of the home. While many materials have been used like wood, block and stone, most new homes use reinforced concrete. Here is a look at the different types of foundation and how to choose the right option for your home.
Using a concrete slab poured at grade level is how a slab-on grade is used as a subfloor for the home’s main living area. The weight of the home’s walls is transferred to the ground by placing a shallow footing around the edges of the slab. You’ll find these commonly in warm regions like Florida where there are high water tables. It can be used in northern climates if a special frost proofing details is applied.
Most commonly seen in the Southeast and parts of the Midwest, crawlspaces are a type of foundation where the footings are placed below the front line and there is only enough space between the floor frame and ground for someone to crawl around.
Crawlspaces also include vent openings that are supposed to prevent excess moisture but usually the bring moisture into the space. If moisture soaks the home framing, you’ll have rotting and structural failure. The solutions are to seal and insulate the crawlspace, plus cover the ground with a vapor barrier. This ends up giving you a dry storage space.
Residents of the Northeast tend to use full basement foundations. The footings are placed deep below the frost depth of the region and are eight-foot-high walls. This underground room can be used for storage, mechanical space or a living area.
It’s a growing trend to add a home entertainment area, home gym or other recreational room. Make sure you install rigid foam insulation beneath the slab to make the space more comfortable and energy efficient.
Make sure you’ve considered the type of soil you’re putting the foundation on before choosing the type you want, keep it dry, watch for cracking and protect yourself by hiring an established builder.
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