Two of the most popular types of home foundation are pier and beam foundations and concrete slab foundations. While it’s tempting to decide which is best for you based on price and efficiency alone, it’s equally important to understand the details and purposes of each in order to make the best, well-rounded decision for your home and family.
Texas is known for its hard clay soil. There’s just no getting around the foundation challenges faced because of the soil. But, not every challenge requires the same solution. In the last twenty years, concrete slab foundations have become more prevalent in home construction. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the way to go. There are great benefits and downsides to either one. So, here are the main difference between slab and pier and beam foundations.
These types of foundations, while more popular in the last couple of decades in the construction industry all around, are not so popular in Texas because the soil conditions. You can usually find about three to four inches of top soil, followed by about three feet of clay. Underneath the clay, which is already hard in nature, the conditions get even harder. There is an increased need for excavation to break up the huge amount of rocks beneath the clay.
Slab on grade foundations are incredibly durable. During the construction process, tension cables or rebar are integrated within the concrete and used to minimize cracking. Either the tension cables or the rebar are formed in a tension grid to both hold the concrete tight and to allow for small amounts of movement within the foundation. If you do any maintenance later, however, and accidentally cut the cable during either construction or down the road, it poses a massive problem.
Slab foundations are incredibly hard to upgrade and repair down the road, and they require jack-hammering to get to any plumbing issues. Slab-on-grade repairs are very difficult and invasive in nature.
One of the biggest benefits, though, aside from the sheer durability, is that you don’t run into pests or critters that can get underneath the house.
Pier and Beam Foundations
Because the Texas soil changes immensely by the depth, piers are planted into the earth so deep that they sit on rock and are used as pins to hold the foundation down. Because of this, there won’t be shifting as a result of the soil changes. Repairs are easier to be made and are significantly less invasive than concrete slab foundation. Crawl spaces offer enough room for routine maintenance, repairs and future upgrades. Houses that sit on pier and beam foundations are easier to insulate with the crawl spaces.
Pier and beam foundations are the traditional foundation and are extremely solid because they’re sitting on rock.
Whichever foundation you decide is right for you, Atlas Foundation Inc. is here for you.
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About Atlas Foundation Company, Inc. Family-owned and operated, Atlas Foundation has been serving the foundation repair needs of homeowners in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas for more than 50 years. Atlas Foundation Co., Inc. specializing in residential foundation repairs in the greater Fort Worth area, offering concrete pressed pilings & steel pressed pilings services as proven foundation repair methods.