8 Most Popular Types of Foundations

The integrity of any structure will, by and large, depend on the durability and strength of its foundation. The primary purpose of the foundation is to support the load of the building. A well-developed structure will ensure that a building stands strong when nature is wreaking havoc.

Considerations when selecting a foundation

Certain factors need to be taken into account when deciding on the ideal foundation for a building.

One of the primary considerations is the local climate. If the climate tends to be colder and wetter and has freeze and thaw cycles, a slab foundation may not be the ideal choice as it may crack under this type of pressure. Similarly, if the climate is particularly warm, termites may be a problem and a wood foundation may not be ideal.

What will the foundation be used for?

Soil and moisture are further considerations. A soil test will help determine the moisture content and the compatibility of the soil. Ideally, you want to lay the foundation on soil that is settled and undisturbed. A perch test will help to determine if the soil is suitable for a septic system. You want to be sure that groundwater will not be able to access the foundation.

Furthermore, you should consider what types of materials are available for a foundation. Concrete is primarily considered to be one of the best types of materials used for foundations.

8 Types of Building Foundation

There are different types of foundations. They are either shallow or deep.

1. Poured concrete slab

Poured concrete slabs are large, thick slabs of concrete. The concrete is approximately four to six inches deep in the center and thicker at the edges to allow for more strength and durability for the perimeter. The concrete is poured all at once.

2. Stone

This type of foundation was very popular before WWI. The foundation comprises stones that are filled with mortar between the gaps. The mortar is also spread over the surface of the stones to bind them with the walls of the foundation.

3. Wood Foundation

This type of foundation is built using wood. The wood is treated to prevent it from rotting. This is a good choice for colder climates as it creates a warmer basement. It is also a more cost-effective option, especially in areas where concrete isn’t available.

4. Crawl space foundation

This is the ideal option for a building on stable soils. This type of foundation consists of footings and walls. The foundation elevates the home from the floor and creates a crawl space between the ground and the first level of the building.

5. Concrete masonry units

This refers to concrete blocks that are used to create a foundation. The blocks are stacked and bound together with mortar.

6. Below-grade ICF walls

Insulated concrete form (ICF) is a method of building the foundation of a home by using interlocking foam bricks. Stacked on top of each other, these polystyrene walls create the outline of the foundation walls. They are filled with reinforcing rebar. When everything is put into place, concrete is poured in the middle.

7. Concrete panels

These are solid concrete studs that are designed to bear heavy loads. Some of these foundations also include insulation, polypropylene fibers, and rebar.

8. Pre-poured concrete

This type of foundation is made in a factory and is identified by its strength. Re-usable molds are created according to blueprint specifications, and a concrete mix is poured inside to create the pre-poured concrete foundation.