When it comes to homes, there are two types of foundations: slab foundations and pier and beam foundations. Slab foundations are the most common because of cost and the need for one. However, there are many situations where a pier and beam foundation will be much better for a home than a slab foundation. A pier and beam foundation is made by driving beams deep into the ground until bedrock is reached, and allows for a floor that is raised off of the ground.
Like all things, there are pros and cons to having a pier and beam foundation. If you have a pier and beam foundation, it’s important to know about them.
Is a Pier and Beam Foundation Good?
Simply put, pier and beam foundations are good under the right circumstances. Keep in mind that slab foundations are cheaper to build, but carry a lot more risk if built in an area that is very prone to floods. Older homes are also very likely to have pier and beam foundations because of their popularity during the time that the home was built.
There are a few circumstances in which a pier and beam foundation is good and much more preferable over a slab foundation. One circumstance is a home built in an area that experiences a lot of soil movement. Especially in Texas, extreme heat and soil that is susceptible to expanding and contracting can wreak havoc on a slab foundation. Also, think about any structure you’ve ever seen that was built on a beach. None of these will have slab foundations because of the sand. Instead, you will always see structures like these built with a pier and beam foundation.
If a home needs to be built in an area where floods are common, a pier and beam foundation is very useful. This protects the home and its contents during a flood because the home is not built right at ground level. Routine maintenance is a necessity to prevent damage to the beams and other material used.
Lastly, homes built in hilly areas will usually have a pier and beam foundation depending on the exact location of the construction. Pier and beam foundations allow homes to be built on sloping ground. While these foundations may be slightly more expensive than slab foundations, the cost of work to completely level out a lot for construction can actually be very high.
Advantages of a Pier and Beam Foundation
These foundations do come with some great advantages if built well. A decent sized crawlspace is very convenient for completing any work that would otherwise involve demolition work on a concrete slab foundation. Plumbing is a lot easier to repair, add, or change with a pier and beam foundation. This is because you can enter the crawlspace to get to most of the plumbing without having to break into a slab.
Perhaps you are remodeling a bathroom and it would be beneficial for the toilet or bathtub to be in a different location. If you had a slab foundation, these changes might be time consuming and costly. With a pier and beam foundation, however, you only have to deal with the subfloor which is generally just 19/32” to 1 ⅛” plywood. This allows you to more easily move around things like plumbing so you can change exactly where your bathtub is going.
How Long A Pier and Beam Foundation Can Last
A good pier and beam foundation that was built properly and with high quality materials can last for decades. Pier and beam foundations that are made with concrete and steel beams have been known to last 75 or more years. A properly made foundation like this could even outlast the homeowner.
Good maintenance and routine inspections will ensure that your pier and beam foundation will last. Finding your foundation repair company in Fort Worth, Irving, or Grapevine will give your foundation the care it needs. Discount Foundation Repair of North East Texas offers professional, high quality foundation repair services and inspections at affordable prices. If you need an inspection or repairs for your pier and beam foundation, contact us today.