Basement vs. Slab Foundation: Which is Right for Your Home?

The foundation is one of the most crucial aspects of a home. Without a strong, durable foundation, the structure has no hope of lasting a long time. In fact, a poor foundation is one of the most common reasons to move a house. The house lifting process allows for new foundation installation or foundation repair. However, it can be difficult to decide which type of foundation to choose. We’re here to to help you decide which one is right for your home.

Basement Foundations

Most homes in the north have basements below the main structure. A basement is essentially a hole in the ground with a concrete slab at the bottom. Basements are generally built with poured concrete walls to ensure a strong foundation for the house to sit on. Having a basement can offer homeowners many benefits, like added living space, easy access to utilities when necessary, and added home value. However, homes in high flood risk areas may not want a basement. Natural disasters and even home issues like broken pipes can quickly lead to a flooded basement. In fact, flooding is one of the common reasons to move a house. But despite this risk, there are steps that are taken to avoid flooding. For example, the soil around a home’s foundation generally is sloped at least six inches every 10 feet out from the structure. This allows for the water to flow away from the home rather than towards it. Overall, basements can offer plenty of benefits but it’s important to consider the flood risk as well.

Slab Foundations

A slab foundation is exactly what it sounds like: a slab of concrete that serves as the base for the bottom floor of a home. The type of foundation comes with a simple installation method and low price tag, making it a popular choice for new home builders. The slab foundation comes with a footing around the edges in order to put the weight of the structure’s walls on the ground. In order to aid with drainage, gravel is poured over the slab prior to the concrete being poured. Contractors take extra precautions when pouring this foundation because it serves as the main base for the home. Generally, wire mesh is put down to decrease the risk of the foundation cracking and plumbing pipes are installed carefully to ensure the homeowner can access them if necessary. However, gaining access to plumbing and electrical with a slab foundation can prove to be more difficult, as the homeowner generally has to go straight through the concrete foundation to reach the problem. But one of the biggest benefits of slab foundation is how low-maintenance it is. Without another level of structure to tend to, homeowners don’t have to worry about maintaining an extra area in their home. And because there’s nowhere for water to go, these foundations are common in areas that are prone to floods and heavy rains.

Hopefully, this article provided some good information on both basements and slab foundations. A strong foundation is essential for any home and if you’re looking for reasons to move a house, a poor foundation is a good one. Talk to your contractor about which foundation would be best for your home.

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