House Foundations: Pros and Cons
For many of us, we don’t think about the foundations of our new home in the buying process but this is something we need to consider when buying in Fort Worth. We’ve put together our expert knowledge on foundation repair and published the pros and cons of each house foundation type.
There are four different types of house foundations:
- Concrete slab
- Pier and beam
- Crawl space
Let’s look at each one more closely.
Concrete Slab Foundations
Concrete Slab foundations are pretty easy to explain. Reinforced by steel rods and drain pipes, concrete slabs are made from—you guessed it—concrete. Concrete is poured over excavated and compacted land, and the house is built directly on top of the slab. Due to its ease, lower cost and versatility, concrete slab foundations are one of the most popular, especially in the Greater Fort Worth Area serviced by Atlas Foundation.
Pros: Concrete Slab foundations are economical, quick, can be built almost anywhere, and are strong. They have less maintenance than other types of foundations and are more fire-resistant. Also, it’s less likely for creepy crawly things to get into your home through the foundation.
Cons: Concrete Slabs do not protect against floodwater as the house remains close to the ground. Also, cracks can occur due to shifts in the weather and moisture levels. Lastly, repairs are more difficult to get through, as it may be necessary to break through the concrete in order to reach the problem.
Pier and Beam Foundations
Pier and Beam foundations are more likely to be seen in the Greater Fort Worth Area on houses built before the 1960s. Concrete or metal piers are secured into the soil with concrete. Beams are built above the piers to support the building. Piers and Beams are also often used for foundation repairs.
Pros: Pier and Beam foundations can be used on sloped landscapes. Also, repairs are can be more economical and less cumbersome than with a slab foundation since problems are easier to reach. They are long-lasting, and since above the ground, prevent termites from attacking your home.
Cons: They might prevent termites, but other creepy-crawly things like rodents might find their way into your Pier and Beam foundation. Also, without proper ventilation, moisture can build up and cause problems such as rot and mould. Finally, if you have a lot of very energetic pets and/or children in the house, the floor can vibrate and creak.
Basement foundations are rare in our area of Texas. Basements work better in areas that do not have a lot of ground movement. Houses with basements are built with concrete pillars that border the perimeter of the house and support the above-ground structure.
Pros: The huge advantage of basement foundations is the extra square footage that can be used for living space, storage, laundry—you name it! Also, basements can be a cooler place to spend a hot summer day.
Cons: Basement foundations are expensive. Also, they can be prone to flooding, excess moisture, and mold.
Crawl Space Foundations
Crawl Space foundations have four walls that are built up from the soil, often using some concrete pillars for extra support. The walls support joists that, in turn, support the floor of the house. Think of it like a mini, shallow basement. Crawl Spaces are often built in areas where the soil is difficult to dig. These are also not common in the Greater Fort Worth Area.
Pros: Crawl Spaces protect against high groundwater. Also, airflow underneath helps keep homes cooler in the summer. Plus, there’s extra space under the house to store some outdoor items!
Cons: The summer advantage can be a disadvantage in the winter, as it can be more difficult to heat a home with a crawl space. Also, if moisture gets trapped in the crawl space, or there is little insulation, you have future problems.
Foundation Repair in Fort Worth
If you experience any issues with your foundations our team at Atlas Foundation is the one to call for inspecting and repairing all types of issues. You can trust us to provide quality repairs and expert advice. We have been satisfying homeowners in the Greater Fort Worth area for over 60 years.