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Pier and Beam Vs. Slab Foundation

Among homeowners, there appears to be a lot of uncertainty regarding pier and beam vs slab foundation. Since they’re all forms of foundations, people tend to treat the terms as interchangeable. The two actually have very little in common aside from both being building foundations. Learn how they differ structure-wise.

What Is a Pier and Beam Foundation?

Many Northern Texas homes built in the 1960s and prior have pier and beam foundations. Visualize a stilt house, or google it to see an image. This is essentially a pier and beam foundation. Of course, most homes are not built that high off the floor, but the stilts, or piers, are located under the soil. The beams are installed from pier to pier for stability.

The average house with pier and beam foundation is about 18-inches off the floor. This is evident by the crawlspace underneath. The space is usually reserved for the plumbing and piping.

What Is a Slab Foundation?

Slab foundations are just that, a concrete slab for homes and other structures constructed on a flat lot. The process, though, isn’t as simple as merely pouring concrete over the floor. It’s actually a complex process that includes placing gravel in the slab interior, using plastic sheeting to prevent moisture buildup, and much more. Reinforcement cables are also used to support the slab. When damage to the slab is detected, repairs are done by reinforcing the slab with concrete or steel pilings.

Which Is Better?

The debate of slab vs pier and beam foundation comes down to circumstances. As with most forms of construction, each method has its respective pros and cons. An installer will choose one or the other depending on various factors, such as building size and shape, soil conditions, etc. Due to diverse environments in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, even buildings within the same vicinity may have completely different foundations.

We Install, Repair, and Restore Foundations

Contact Align Foundation Repair for an assessment of your home or commercial foundation. We will formulate a remediation plan that restores the foundation so it’s on par with modern safety standards.

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