Building a house doesn’t have to be completed for you, but depending on the local building standards, some buildings might require an engineer’s approval and an extensive list of building recommendations.
Whether it be load-bearing walls, retaining straps, floor and attic joist sizes, and foundations, the engineer looks over everything that may be a point of concern later on and recommends how to proceed with the build.
However, the majority of new homeowners typically overlook the foundation. It doesn’t matter if you’re just renovating and require foundation repair or building from scratch; the foundation is the base of your home. So, let’s talk about what a foundation actually is and why it’s so important.
What exactly is a foundation?
Any type of structure that is built directly on the ground will almost surely fail. Plain old simply won’t be able to support the weight of even the smallest constructions, which can weigh several tons.
Before you can even consider building, you must first establish a strong foundation, frequently made of reinforced concrete, that will withstand the pressure of all that weight while maintaining the stability of the structure over its entire lifespan. To put it simply, a foundation is the part of a structure that bears its weight and is often subterranean, aka built underground.
Types of home foundations
Generally speaking, there are two different types of foundations. Each of them has its own subtypes, but it would be useless to cover all of that now. If you’re building a new house, speak to your contractor about the varying subtypes, and they’ll be able to advise you best. We’ll just introduce you to the basics.
Two basic home foundation types:
- A shallow foundation
- A deep foundation
The depth of the foundation is measured by the depth of the soil where the foundation is laid. It really is that simple. In general, a foundation is referred to as “shallow” when its width is greater than its depth. On the other hand, a foundation is referred to as “deep” when it’s deeper than it is wider.
Benefits of a good home foundation
If the base is right, it’s built to last
Your home’s foundation serves as its frame. It supports the roof, the walls, the floors, the furniture, and many other things. However, if your foundation is weak, your walls could crumble, your flooring could sag, and water could seep inside, encouraging the growth of mold and mildew, thus damaging the house you worked so hard on to call home.
You want your home to stand the test of time, so don’t lay it on a poorly construed or cracked foundation. Just like anything else in life, if the base is weak, everything will eventually crumble.
Keeps moisture outs and insulates
Rotting can easily become an issue for wooden houses, especially if you live in an area that gets a fair amount of rain, not to mention if the soil isn’t very porose. The structure of a house is significantly impacted by moisture anyways, but if you can find yourself in what we mentioned above, pay special attention. As the rains fall, water will unavoidably collect around the house.
This significantly damages your foundation by causing it to expand, move, and transfer pressure. Therefore, it is crucial that the foundation wall, slab, and footing are strong, as well as the drainage system. If they are not, you could not only face problems with mold and insulation but (worst case scenario) your whole house sinking slowly.
Flooding and storm damage
In the event of a flood, having a sturdy foundation for your building may not be sufficient to prevent water damage to your belongings, but it will guarantee that the building will remain standing when the floodwaters recede with its structural integrity intact. This makes it much easier to fix since there’s no need to build from the ground up yet again.
The foundation also stabilizes the structure to prevent lateral movement in addition to supporting the structure (that is, movement from side to side). Although both sliding and sinking are made faster by inadequate foundations, we’re not only talking about those here.
We’re referring to things like storms, heavy rain, strong winds, and other adverse weather conditions that can harm a structure from all sides. If the foundation is strong, the likelihood of losing it due to bad weather conditions is significantly lessened.
Maintaining property value
Because fixing foundations takes so much time and money, most homebuyers are reluctant to buy a house with any kind of structural problem, foundation included. The foundation of your house should be in good condition if you intend to sell it.
When a foundation is poor, not only does the homeowner have to sink heaps of their own money into fixing structural problems, but they will also lose out when selling.
What if something goes wrong?
Even though foundation repair typically costs $4,714 per property, some minor cracks can be fixed for as low as $500. Should you notice any cracks or foundational issues, it’s vital to consult with a professional as soon as possible – before the damage becomes unfixable. In order to avoid this, always hire a structural engineer.
They will guarantee that both newly created buildings and older buildings do not collapse. Never try to cut inevitable costs when it comes to something as important as acquiring a home.
You cannot, for any reason, overlook the importance of a solid foundation when buying or building a property. It’s building block number one. Your entire home will start falling apart fast if anything goes wrong with your foundation; if this happens, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.
So in case of any issues, you must fix them immediately away before things get out of hand. For the time being, all you need to do is make sure your foundation is as solid as it can be so the remainder of your house won’t ever have to collapse.