There are several different types of house foundations that you can have for your home, and in this article we’ll go through a brief rundown on the most applicable ones. Essentially this is going to boil down to what your basement looks like, if applicable, but there are other types of foundation work depending on what type of home you own. For a more thorough rundown, try this “types of foundation” pdf.

“You can't build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a solid foundation if you're going to have a strong superstructure.: - Gordon B. Hinckley


Slab-on-grade is a great way to build a solid foundation for your home
It's a solid foundation in every way. Source: Wikimedia
Slab-on-grade is a great way to build a solid foundation for your home
It's a solid foundation in every way. Source: Wikipedia

This technique is a durable, affordable, and more comfortable way to create a foundation for your home. Essentially you’re creating a slab of concrete slab over an area of land. The “grade” part of slab-on-grade refers to the uneven land made perfectly flat once the concrete settles. So essentially you’re creating solid ground for a home to be placed on.

Slab-on-grade foundations also have a few benefits you should be aware of:

  • They are usually slightly cheaper
  • They are very sturdy
  • They can be built over most lands
  • They can be built over any grade
  • They’re guaranteed to be level
  • They’re great for passive homes
  • They actually save on some energy bills

Pier and Beam

Most homes have this type of foundation work
You can find this kind of foundation in a typical home. Source: YouTube

A pier and beam foundation is literally elevated above other homes. Just as the name implies, this style of foundation work is essentially a pier held up by several beams, effectively lifting the house off the ground. This creates a beneficial gap in between the home and the soil. This gap is useful for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Protection from floods
  • Protection from moisture
  • Protection from rising sea levels
  • Storage crawl space
  • Easier access to utilities
  • Cheaper plumbing work
  • Extra air insulation under the home
  • Saving on heating

A Basement

Some foundation work is more challenging than others
Probably what you have in your own home. Source: New Old House

We’re all familiar with a basement. Here’s a foundation that allows you to add extra room to your home, be it for storage or increased living space. This is typically the most common basement, as it provides a stable foundation and adds square footage to the home itself.

A basement isn’t quite a deep foundation, as it tends to be half buried in the ground. And these types of homes are always in need of functional gutters. This will ensure that the foundation doesn’t see any problems arising from water in the soil (i. e. cracks, sliding, flooding, etc…) and cut down on erosion.

Deep Foundation

And in extreme cases, you can get deep foundation work for a building
Deep foundations are elaborate and expensive. Source: Linkedin

Generally reserved for large excavation jobs, deep foundations basically rely on the fact the the top of the soil is going to be weakened to the point where an otherwise normal foundation wouldn’t stand a chance. Oil drills, large pipelines, and compromised construction surfaces require this heavy duty type of foundation. When you absolutely, positively need the foundation to hold up against the toughest of elements, this is the way to go.

Other Kinds of Foundation Work

Of course there are always different types of foundation in civil engineering. Depending on the work needed to be done, there are a varied assortment of foundations for a great many jobs. Here’s a quick overview into the lesser known foundation projects.

Shallow Foundations

In conctrast, shallow foundations can be a DIY project
Pile foundations are the opposite. Source: DIY Network

As the name suggests, shallow foundations are any work of foundation that does not penetrate the ground more than three meters, or roughly ten feet. These projects are faster and cheaper, plus they can carry a normal amount of weight for the structure. Shallow foundations include the following:

  • Pad Foundations - A structural column meant to support an individual point load
  • Strip Foundations - Used to support a line of loads, such as a wall
  • Raft Foundations - For massive load support, especially when using heavy columns

Pile Foundation Details

Another type of deep foundation, pile foundations come into play when a load bearing structure requires additional support from an underground column. In other words, it’s a massive pillar underground meant to support a large load. The “pile” refers to the gigantic rod placed beneath the heavy load with a cap underground.

Looking for the best way to create a foundation for your home? Are you in need of foundation work like what’s listed above? The first step is getting in touch with a pro for a free estimate.

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