Understanding Foundation Types in Dallas
The Big D is home to beautiful mult-million dollar mansions, quaint little bungalows, and everything in between. While homes all look the same on the outside, they’re actually quite different when it comes to the architectural basis for each. If you’re looking to buy a new home in Dallas, or you’ve ever just been super interested in home construction in the area, here’s a quick guide to understanding the various foundations found throughout Texas.
Poured Concrete Slab
One of the most popular forms of foundations in the Dallas area is the poured concrete slab. One major advantage of this foundation is that it’s quicker, chepaer, and easier for contractors to finish. Prior to World War II, most homes had a very simple mish-mash of rock and mortar. However, when the technology arose, concrete slabs became the industry standard for most homes. When the foundation is poured, workers reinforce the sides with steel rebar or post tension cables, meaning you don’t have to worry about substantial disintegration or cracking. If you’re planning on doing any renovations, this can create a problem, as many plumbing and electrical systems become integrated into the concrete. If you’re building a new home, make certain you have everything just how you want it.
Pier & Beam
In most Dallas neighborhoods, there’s no particular threat of flooding. However, there the pier and beam foundation became very popular prior to the 1960s, not because of its barrier to flooding, but for its ability to fix problems that arise with plumbing and electrical systems. To create this foundation, a home rests on concrete pillars roughly 18 inches from the ground. These pillars are then joined with treated wooden beams to give a solid foundation. With the added height from the ground, these homes give plumbers and electricians easy access to fix any problems with the systems. However, the underground beams are susceptible to termites and the elements. Over time, these beams deteriorate, requiring a costly replacement.
This very old technique is very rarely used today. The foundation consists of framed lumber that is supported by many different types of piers at varying intervals. Most frame homes were built during times when building codes did not exist. Hence, homes right next to each other can be built very different. You will find these homes mostly in historic areas and areas built before 1940.