3 Most Common House Foundations: the Pros & Cons
The foundation of your new home construction is a critical part of the structure that it's worth considering. A good foundation will support your home for many years to come. In this article, we'll look at three of the most common foundations—crawl space, full basement, and walkout basement—and discuss which one might work best for your property. But let's start with the basics:
What is a foundation?
A foundation is simply the lowest load-bearing part of your home. It serves three primary purposes.
Firstly, the foundation bears the weight of the entire house, transferring the force to the ground beneath. For this reason, most (though not all) foundations are made of concrete and dug into the earth for added stability.
Secondly, your foundation essentially holds your house as an anchor between the frame (the walls, ceilings, etc.) and the ground below. In the event of natural disasters (such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis) or more common adverse weather conditions (such as floods, wind, and frost-heave), your foundation stops your home from being washed or blown away.
Finally, a well-laid foundation can help waterproof your property and prevent groundwater from rising into the lower reaches of your home.
That’s pretty much it. But, like everything in homebuilding, you have choices.
Luckily, those choices are straightforward, and their relative advantages and disadvantages are crystal clear.
And while deciding what type of house foundation is right for you isn’t the most exciting part of planning your build, it’s undoubtedly one of the most important (and earliest) steps.
To keep this article organized, we’ll discuss the three home foundations you’re most likely to encounter in this market, crawl space, full basement, and walkout basement .
Why choose a Crawl Space?
Crawl space foundations are typically the least expensive option for your home. They will also be the quickest foundation to build, requiring the least amount of labor to complete. However, crawl space foundations often have aesthetic drawbacks, such as dirt and grime on the floorboards of your home—not to mention bugs!
Crawl spaces can also trap humid air inside them during hot summer months. This foundation would be unsuitable for your home if you live in an area where high humidity leads to mold growth or mildew. If your house has a crawl space foundation, regularly check for signs of mold growth on walls or floors; when found early enough, this problem can usually be resolved by addressing moisture issues in the crawl space (if any exist).
If you are aware of homes near your construction site with standing water in the crawl space from rising groundwater levels, then installing one may not be recommended due (at least partially) to potential damage posed by heavy rains.
Why choose a Full Basement
The full basement is a common foundation type in new homes, and for a good reason. It's the most versatile option, offering a lot of space for storage and entertainment. A full basement also makes sense if your house is susceptible to high humidity. Since it's built below ground level, there's less water infiltration risk than a crawl space foundation.
However, this type of foundation also has its drawbacks: it can be more expensive than other options because it requires deeper excavation (and thus more labor). Additionally, although full basements are generally considered less vulnerable than crawl spaces or slab-on-grade foundations regarding mold growth or pest infestation issues, they're still not immune from these problems entirely.
Why choose a Walkout Basement
A walkout basement is one of the highest quality basements you can build. It's a fully finished space with an exterior door that leads directly to your backyard or patio.
Walkout basements are more expensive than other types because they require more materials and labor. They're also more challenging to build because the foundation needs to be stronger than usual, and it may need extra support for things like staircases or columns to support the weight of floors above it.
If you want a walkout basement, you will need to consider your new home's landscape. Walkout basements are typically built on sloping terrain to accommodate a door accessing outside.
The foundation for your new home will impact your choice of basement finishes and the overall cost of your home.
Crawl space foundations are typically the least expensive option, but they also provide the least amount of usable space.
Full basements are more expensive than crawl spaces, but they offer more room to work with when it comes to interior design and finishing options.
Walkout basements are the most expensive foundation because they include an additional level below ground and a covered porch or patio on the side of your home.
When choosing between these three foundations, consider what functions you need it to serve and how much time and money will go into building it.
It’s worth noting that, if they’re built correctly, there is no house foundation type that should “hold up” better than the others in terms of longevity. There is technically no “strongest” type of foundation.
We hope that this article has helped you understand the different types of foundations and how they affect your home.
As you can see, there are many options to choose from, so it's essential to understand what each one means for your family and budget.
today so we can help you decide
which is the best foundation for your future home!