In most of the South, including the Dallas metro area, there are two popular styles of foundations. Slab foundations are simply a solid concrete surface on which the house sits. Pier and beam foundations are a bit more complex. They feature piers of rebar and concrete that are anchored deep in the ground. Beams then connect the various piers and distribute the weight of the house. Whether you’re planning on building a house, in the market for a home, or make a living selling homes, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of pier and beam foundation design. Here’s a breakdown from the experts at Align Foundation Repair:
Pier and Beam Foundation Advantages
- Stability Over Time: One of the main pier and beam foundation benefits is stability over time on loose soil. If you’re building on soft ground, or on soil that expands and contracts due to moisture, a slab foundation may shift. Since pier and beam designs are similar to building on stilts, they allow for a crawl space between the ground and your home. This means there will be little shift in your foundation as the years go by.
- Easy Access to Utilities: Another perk of the crawl space between your home and the earth is easier access to utilities. If you want to add a bathroom, or rewire cable or electricity it will be a breeze with a pier and beam foundation.
- Less Likely to Flood: Since pier and beam foundations are usually elevated approximately 2’ off the ground, they are less prone to minor or moderate flooding. If you live in a flood prone area, you may want to choose to build your home with a pier and beam foundation for this reason alone.
Pier and Beam Foundation Disadvantages
- Vermin: Unwanted guests may try to make their home in the crawl space created by a pier and beam foundation. A lattice around your foundation can be an attractive way to keep larger animals out. Should you have an insect infestation, it’s best to call a professional exterminator.
- Mold and Mildew: Moisture underneath a pier and beam foundation house can lead to mold and mildew buildups. This can cause an unpleasant odor in your home.
- Creaky Floors: Floors built on pier and beam foundations are more likely to creak as you move around your home. While some noise is normal, it can be a sign of a larger problem.
If something seems off with your foundation, don’t hesitate to call a pro. Contact the pier and beam specialists at Align Foundation Repair today, and make sure your foundation stays strong for many years to come.