When you’re building your home, one of the most important things to consider is the foundation. There are several different types of foundations, and they have a huge impact on your home’s stability. Two of the most common options are concrete slab foundations and pier and beam foundations. Both styles have their own benefits and repair requirements, so the right choice will mostly depend on your unique needs.
What’s the Difference Between Concrete Slab and Pier and Beam Foundations?
To understand how these types of foundation repair work, it’s important to understand how these foundations are made. A concrete slab foundation is the most common foundation in modern homes. It’s made of a big square of concrete poured directly into the ground. Some slab foundations may have cables or steel rods that help to reinforce the concrete.
A pier and beam foundation is more common in homes built before the 1960s. This is the type of foundation used for a home with a crawlspace. Piers made of concrete and rebar are driven deep into the ground. Then beams are rested on these piers to hold up the rest of the house.
Pros and Cons of These Foundation Types
If you’re currently in the process of picking out your foundation, you need to carefully consider the benefits of each foundation style.
The advantages of concrete slab foundations include:
- They’re very affordable to make.
- Water pipes in the slab are less likely to crack in a hard freeze.
- You can easily seal your home to keep rodents and other pests out.
Meanwhile, pier and beam foundations come with these perks:
- It’s easier to fix electrical and plumbing items, since you don’t have to break open a slab to access them.
- You can add extra insulation in between the piers and beams.
- Shifting soil won’t affect your foundation.
- This foundation is resting on bedrock, so it’s sturdier than a concrete slab.
Which Style of Foundation Is Easier to Repair?
If a foundation inspection brings up issues with your current foundation, you have a few different options. It is technically possible to convert between concrete slab or pier and beam foundations, but this is a very costly, time-consuming venture. Instead, you’re usually better off just repairing your current one.
Pier and beam foundations are usually cheaper to fix since you can do things like house leveling by just adjusting a single pier. Another perk of pier and beam foundation is that this older construction style lets you easily swap out individual parts as needed. However, concrete slab repair is often quicker. Furthermore, slabs don’t require as much maintenance, so they will need repairs less often.
Whether you have a slab foundation or a pier and beam foundation, it’s important to stay on top of foundation repairs. Ignoring a small problem can lead to big issues later on. To make the right decisions for your home, you need to carefully consider your needs and take the time to consult with foundation repair inspections.