Building a solid foundation for a new home is important to the process. Footings and foundations are to homes what feet and legs are to a human being. Footings anchor the home and support the foundation. Learn more about why the three main foundation types (full basement, crawlspace and slab-on grade) are significant when creating a solid foundation.
Full basements can be found in many places and consist of footings placed deep below the region’s frost depth and eight-foot-high walls enclosed with a four-inch-thick poured concrete slab. An underground room can be used as a storage and mechanical space or finished to create a living room. Basement finishing is a growing trend: homeowners are turning spaces into recreational rooms, gyms and entertainment centers. It takes planning to prepare a basement for what a family will want in the future. Basements with insulation under the slab creates a great atmosphere for keeping dampness out and making sure quality and comfort are at the fore.
Crawlspaces are more common in the Southeast than the Midwest. Footings are placed below the frost line but only enough headroom exists between the ground and floor frame for someone to crawl around. Open crawlspaces and become breeding grounds for mold and moisture. Moisture can ruin a home’s frame, leading to rot and structural failure. For this reason, it is recommended:
- To seal and insulate a crawlspace
- Cover ground with polyethylene vapor barrier or concrete slab
- Lowers pace conditioning bills, mold and mildew
Slab-on-grade foundation is a concrete slab poured at grade level that serves as a subfloor for the home’s main living area. Shallow footing around the edges of slabs transfer weight of home walls to the ground. Slab foundations are most common in warm regions and where high water tables exist.
Foundation walls and footings are designed to work as a unit, supporting the weight of the home and transferring weight of the surrounding ground. How well this happens depends in part on what type of ground the footing rests on. Dense, dry soil will be stable, forgiving of less-than-perfect construction and less likely to settle after the house is built.
Concrete is not waterproof so water outside the foundation will make its way inside. Surface water which seeps into the ground near the house will become an interior moisture issue. Prevention tips include:
- Waterproofing coating brushed on outside of foundation
- Perforated pipe placed around perimeter of footing
- Landscaping helps keep home dry
Brookstone Homes employs best practices for all our custom homes to ensure less issues arise. If you are seeking a builder who knows how to get the job done with excellence, call us to find out how to get started.