Types of House Foundations | Steps To Building a House Foundation
Types of House Foundations | What To Consider When Choosing a House Foundation
What is House Foundation
The foundation is that part of the house that is built below the ground surface and supports the house. A properly built foundation will keep the house from being damaged or twisted out of shape due to settlement of the earth, weight of the structure, high winds, or frost action.
A good house must have a good foundation to shoulder its considerable weight, provide a flat and level base for construction, and separate wood-based materials from contact with the ground, which would cause them to rot and invite termite infestation.
Depending on when and where a house was built, the foundation may be made of stone, brick, preservative-treated lumber, concrete block, or poured concrete. By far the most common material for foundations is concrete.
Most houses have a raised perimeter foundation that supports floors and load-bearing walls. Some are built on a flat, concrete slab, which provides both a base for the structure and serves as the bottom floor of the house. Still others, notably vacation homes as well as small, older houses, oftentimes rest on a series of concrete piers.
Some houses utilize all of these methods for different portions of the house. Houses with perimeter foundations, for example, often have post-and-pier supports beneath a beam that runs under a load-bearing wall along the middle of the house.
The bottom part of a foundation is called a footing (or footer). The footing is generally wider than the foundation wall and is located about 12 inches below the frost line (the average depth at which soil freezes year after year). The footing distributes the house’s weight to prevent settling or movement
Types of House Foundation
Following are different types of house foundations used in construction:
1. Basement Foundation
A basement is a space excavated from the higher level of the ground, often below grade and used for storage, recreation, or other human uses.
The basement is often located under the first floor of a house. The basement is typically a part of the foundation but may be partially or fully encased in a concrete or masonry wall.
The soil from the excavation may be left in place, or it may be removed. The ground level of a basement is the floor that is above ground level and below grade.
The basement foundation is a huge part of the house as it is the first part of the house that will be there. There are many things that contribute to the basement foundation to make a house have a sturdy and long lasting one.
The two most important parts of the basement foundation are the walls and the floor. The walls hold the house up and provide protection for the house. These walls are built to be as strong as possible so they can keep the house up.
The second key to a strong basement foundation is the floor. The floor provides support from below and creates a base to hold the walls up. The floor is also built to be as strong as possible so it can hold everything up that is on it.
As we have previously mentioned the basement foundation has many things that contribute to its making and its stability. Let us take a look at some of these things individually and see how they work together.
It is important that a basement foundation be a solid one as it will last longer than one with flaws in it.
2. Crawlspace Foundation
The protection of the home is a major benefit of crawlspace foundations. The walls of the home are protected from flooding and other environmental risks by elevating the house’s foundation.
Plumbing, wiring, and other mechanical systems are easily accessible in this area. Raising the foundation of a house also lifts the entire structure, which can result in a more visually beautiful structure. It is also less expensive than excavating a full basement.
These foundations are most frequent in warmer climates like as California, Texas, the Northwest, and the South. They’re also a popular choice among architects planning homes in earthquake-prone areas.
Although crawlspace foundations are more averse to termites due to their elevation above ground, they are susceptible to mold and mildew due to the moisture that can accumulate beneath them. Even though crawlspace foundations are less expensive than basement foundations, they require maintenance.
Property owners must ensure that below-ground walls are clear of cracks, check for leaks around plumbing components, and install vapor barriers to keep it dry.
3. Concrete Slab-On-Grade Foundation
Slab-On-Grade Foundation, also known as a slab, these foundations are constructed on dirt or other soft materials such as sand, clay, or gravel.
The structure is typically built above grade with the slab resting directly on the ground. Concrete foundations can be poured during construction or pressed into place after construction is complete.
Concrete foundation construction takes more time than lightweight support systems like wood framing and tubular steel supports and they are more expensive to build. They are also more likely to require a permit from local authorities.
4. Post and Beam Foundation
The post and beam foundation are the most common foundation in the United States. Its best-known characteristic is that it provides strength without using masonry walls
Post and beam support the structure with beams resting on a solid base of posts that are usually connected together to form an arch (cantilever) or a truss. Posts are placed in the soil to support the beams.
The post and beam structure does not require masonry walls on top of it as it is supported by its own weight, usually by wood posts and beams.
The post and beam style is also a popular choice for building homes in earthquake prone regions.
What sets post and beam apart from other forms of foundation construction, is that the fewest number of posts are used to provide the most amount of strength possible. This makes the foundation much heavier and has a longer life-span.
Another major feature is that it allows the use of other building materials besides concrete to build the support system.
So, it depends on the style that you are going for. Post and beam foundations can be made from steel, wood, stone, or any combination of these materials.
5. Steel Frame Foundation
Steel frame construction involves the use of various types of steel bars in a crisscross pattern to support the weight of the structure. The frame is generally reinforced with either wood or concrete, depending on the type of building material used.
A steel frame structure is rock solid and can be easily disassembled for replacement or repair. This allows for easier house maintenance and upgrading.
Steel frames are also significantly stronger and more resilient to environmental hazards such as flooding, earthquakes, and winds.
The steel frame foundation provides a strong structure that can handle extreme loads with ease. However, the cost for this type of structure is generally higher than other types of construction.
Elements such as wind, fire or other disasters cannot destroy a steel frame structure; however, they can damage it over time. Steel is also expensive to produce so the cost may be passed on to the consumer.
6. Wood Frame Foundation
Wood framing is a simple method of building a house with the entire home being made out of wood.
This allows for the construction of any shape or size with different sizes and shapes of windows and doors, stairwells, bulkheads and much more.
A wooden house frame is also much lighter than concrete but at the same time they do not require poured foundations or sidewalks.
7. Block Foundation
Block foundations are the cheapest of the types of foundation. Block foundations are constructed in layers and often have a brick or stone exterior.
The blocks are typically stacked in an alternating pattern. Each piece is mortared together to make a sturdy structure that can support a lot of weight.
8. Post-Frame Foundation
The post and beam style are very common in earthquakes prone areas like earthquake prone areas like California, Oregon, Washington, and many other places around the world.
It is a type of construction made of timber posts and beams that can provide lateral resistance.
The resistance provided by this construction method is superior to other methods of building due to the fact that it provides stability at all stages of construction.
There are so many other foundations such as concrete piers, rubble trench foundation, and pile foundations. These foundation types are commonly used in places with sandy soil or coastal regions.
Each of these types have their own features and one may be more suitable for your needs than others.
What To Consider When Choosing a Foundation
The type of foundation you choose for your home will depend on a number of factors. Some of these key factors include the climate, land type, and soil conditions in your area.
Other things to consider include building codes for the area you live in, size and location of house, and what you want to use the foundation for.
When it comes to foundation construction there are many factors that need attention from home owners such as contractors building a new home.
You will need to know how to correctly install the foundation, how do you have to prepare the area for your foundation, what size should you make it and what type of soil should be used. You will also need to think about costs and maintenances.
The above information is just a small list of things that you need to consider when choosing a foundation for your house.
They are just some of the factors that you need to think about. There are many factors that you must consider and decide what type of foundation you want to use.
In summary here are things to consider;
- Purpose of the Building
- Life of the Structure
- Loads from superstructure
- Type of construction materials to be used.
- Water table level.
- Type of adjoining structure.
- Soil condition.
- Location of building
Steps To Building a House Foundation
There are steps that need to be taken to build a good foundation for the house. For example, the foundations must be properly constructed and also the footings should be of the proper depth.
The dimensions of your foundation will affect how easily the home can be built and also if you want to use certain materials that are needed in your foundation, you must consider their specifications.
For instance, you might need a certain type of concrete for your basement foundation, there are many different types of concrete so it is important to know what type that you will need for your needs.
What Are the Steps to Building a House Foundation?
Step 1: Choosing A Suitable Location for The Building
The first step is choosing a suitable location for your house foundation. It should be at least three meters away from the property line.
Also, the area should be well drained and have sufficient depth of soil to hold your home’s weight. The foundation base should also allow for enough room to add windows and doors later on.
#Step 2: Digging the Base of Your House Foundation
The second step is digging the bases of your home’s columns. You will have to dig a hole in the location you have chosen in step one.
The hole should be about 50 to 60 centimeters deep and 50 centimeters wide. Usually, foundations are built at the same depth as the ground floor.
#Step 3: Placing Wooden Sleepers into The Base Hole
The third step is placing keepers into the base hole that you dug in step two. The keepers will hold up the footings of your home during construction and later also support them once your foundation is complete.
#Step 4: Adding Footings to The Keepers
The fourth step is adding footings to the keepers you placed in step three. The footings are usually made of concrete and can be placed on top of the keepers you placed in step 3.
The footings are usually laid out in a square pattern, there should be about 50 centimeters between the corners of each footing.
#Step 5: Placing Steel Rods into The Footings
The fifth step is placing steel rods into the excavated hole. You will need to check that the rods are placed at a level that allows for the hollow block and concrete foundation to be placed on top of them.
The rest of your house’s columns should be built on top of these steel rods.
#Step 6: Fitting A Wooden Formwork Over the Footings
The sixth step is fitting a wooden formwork over the footings that you placed in step 4. The formwork should be securely fitted over the footings and your steel rods to prevent them from tipping over.
#Step 7: Adding A Concrete Slab to The Formwork
The seventh step is adding a concrete slab to the formwork that was placed over the footings in step 6.
The slab should be tightly fitted onto the formwork and steel rods in order to prevent water from entering your home’s foundation.
Once your foundation is complete, you can then start finishing it with exterior and interior walls.