What is a House Foundation?

The foundation of a house is by far one of the most important aspects of any structure. Without a strong house foundation, your dream home would come crumbling down to the ground with the first gust of wind, or at the slightest shift of the earth. Not all home foundations are created equal, as different demands on a home require different types of foundations. For example, a home in the flatlands of North Dakota that must endure frigid winter temperatures may require a different house foundation than a home in Florida that must endure 150 mile per hour winds during a hurricane. Come with us as we explore what a home foundation is, why home foundations are so important and the different types of foundations.


Why do Houses Have Foundations?

Home foundations serve as the essential floor that a house rests on. The ground beneath us moves often and can stretch a home beyond its limits due to the fact that the ground does not move uniformly and at the same time. A home foundation not only works to keep the house level and still, but also insulate the home - keeping the moisture out, and the warmth in. Another important reason for a house foundation is to keep it level. For example, if a house is on a hill, or uneven terrain, a perfectly flat house foundation will allow the home to sit level, and not have you roll out of bed at night because your house sits at a 45º angle. The foundation of a house ensures that your stays where it is and maintains it's structure.


What House Foundation Types are There?

Since each home is unique in terms of the ground that it is built on and the situations it might face, there are many different house foundation types, each which have their own benefits and drawbacks. Here are the most common types of house foundations:


1. Concrete Slab Foundation:

A concrete slab house foundation is one of the most commonly used house foundation types. Most commonly set between four to eight inches thick, these house foundations are made up of poured concrete reinforced with steel rods, along with drainage pipes. These types of foundations are often low-cost and reliable but can become troublesome if a drain line is damaged. In addition, these types of foundations may not be suitable in places prone to hurricanes and flooding.


2. Basement Foundation:

Basement foundations are built using a perimeter of concrete pillars to support the home’s structure above ground. This house foundation type can be greatly beneficial due to the fact that it provides additional square footage to the home and can provide a multitude of options on how the space is utilized. However, basement foundations come with drawbacks of their own. Basement foundations are the costliest option of all the home foundation types and is prone to issues like moisture, mold, and flooding. When choosing this type of foundation, be sure to evaluate the costs and the area it will be situated.


3. Crawl Space Foundation:

Crawl space foundations are constructed of reinforced concrete pillars that stand only three to four feet high, effectively supporting the home above the ground. Not only does this house foundation type provide excellent ventilation, but it also provides a level of protection against minor flooding, making it a common option for areas that experience mild floods during the rainy season. This house foundation also provides handy storage options but can become a problem if not sealed properly. Not only would a wet crawlspace result in damage of stored items, but can also be an issue if standing water begins to jeopardize the stillness of the ground the house foundation sits on.


What is a Raised Foundation of a House?

Quite simply, a raised foundation is a house foundation that sits above the ground. This is accomplished by building reinforced pillars that allow the house to sit above the ground. These pillars are often two to three feet off the ground which provides excellent ventilation and also provides protection against flooding. These raised foundations are also beneficial because they provide storage space for owners and prevents the typical warming that flat concrete foundations experience in the summer.


How Deep is The Foundation of a House?

House foundation depths vary depending on the dynamics of the house. Typically, a house with 8-foot walls will require a 4-inch thick concrete slab foundation. These 4-inch slabs are often poured to form two to four-foot-deep pillars. Often, gravel is poured between the beams and underneath the slab to allow proper ventilation and drainage. For homes with raised foundations, a concrete slab or durable foam is often used on the ground along with reinforced concrete pillars that plunge two to four feet in the ground that allows the house to set above ground.

Pulte Homes has over 65 years of experience and builds homes with the homeowner in mind. Not only will your Pulte home be built with you in mind, but our homes feature flexible and customizable floor plans, which allows your home to flex to your needs. Our homes are built of the highest quality and come complete with a 10-year limited structural warranty. We build homes with the most secure foundations to ensure that your home is built to last, rain or shine.


Contributed to Your Home blog by Joshlin Grayson

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Published 3.13.19

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