Whether you own your own home or are currently considering building one then you are probably full aware that there is a house foundation system structurally supporting your home. It is essential that the house foundation system is intact and undamaged unless you want to find that you have major problems on your hands a few years down the line.
However, you might or might not know that there are three main types of foundation system to choose from. All three are very effective at supporting your home but if you are undertaking any structural DIY or planning on having an extension fitted then you should find out what yours is.
The Three Main Types
As previously stated, there are three main types of house foundation system used today. They are the slab system, the crawlspace and the basement. They are all extremely different and are used for different purposes. As such, they all have their advantages and disadvantages over the other types. It is in fact the advantages and disadvantages that might determine which option you choose if you are building a home. However, they can also determine what sort of work you can do to your home.
There is a fourth type of house foundation system but it is not all that common. Some houses are actually erected on poles and use them for structural stability. However, this is limited to extremely warm coastal climates and those that face certain natural weather systems or disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
Differences And Advantages
Below is a quick guide to the common house foundations systems, complete with a quick description and the advantages:
1. Slab – This is the easiest foundation to build and is literally a huge concrete mass that is poured into the foundations as soon as they have settled. There is very little skill needed to do this foundation system at all. However, it is a problem if the climate is cold because the slab can shift and cause areas for leaking. It can make life easier though because the electrics and the sewerage piping are embedded before the concrete is poured in, meaning that there is less chance of them being damaged afterwards. If they are damaged though then it is much more difficult to get to them.
2. Basement – This is becoming an increasingly popular house foundation system. Although it has been popular in the United States, it is now catching on worldwide. The foundations are dug, the concrete slab is poured in but concrete or cinderblocks are then placed to form walls. It is generally better for keeping water at bay and also gives you extra space to make the most of.
3. Crawlspace – Crawlspace foundations are not as popular as the previous other two types of foundations but do offer a whole host of benefits. It is a more shallow foundation that is built largely of cinderblock. As such, it is cheaper to put in place even if it is a little more complicated. It is also much better at keeping damp and flooding at bay because it lifts the house up and away from the ground. It also tends to contain all of the piping so it is easily accessible but is likely experience little interference at the same time. As such, the crawlspace house foundation system is actually better than the previous two in terms of practicality and protecting your home from future damage.