The move to slab foundations on the grade level started long back after World War two, this was done to fulfill the demand for affordable and reliable homes. And this was accepted rapidly and everyone started building the same way. To this day, there are plenty of homes standing on the pier and beam foundations. Most houses are old and have housed many people and yet stand tall.
The pier foundations were constructed by stone, bricks, concrete piers and the wooden beams would support the entire weight of the home. This foundation was elevated by about 24” off the land. Many advantages came with the elevation. Since the house was elevated at a certain angle, it made the house less prone to flooding. This was better than those built on a slab foundation.
Benefits of the foundation
- Pier and beam foundations would facilitate the inhabitants to get easier electrical lines and plumbing facilities. It was more feasible than the slab foundation since in that construction, the accessibility on the occasion of repair was hectic. This was because the electrical lines and plumbing were set in the slab construction with concrete.
- Any modification can be done to the plumbing and electrical lines in the foundation because it was set on the crawlspace in the house.
- Slab foundations were expensive and hence any damage or repair could cost a lot of money. As compared to this, the pier foundations can be repaired easily and with less cost. It was regarded as cost-effective and easy to fix or repair.
- The most important aspect of pier foundations was that if needed, houses can be relocated easily. The foundation makes it possible for the house to move from one place to another without having to break it or damage it.
Shortfalls of the foundations
- The crawlspace can be prone to infestation by vermin or insects. This can result in damage to beams, structural points, and wiring. This can prove destructive if it goes unnoticed.
- The houses built on the pier foundation lack the wanted support. Squeaking noises can be commonly heard and to minimize the noises, shims must be positioned in floorboards and floor joists. The safety is compromised since the support seems weak.
- It can suffer susceptibility to dampness, this can be controlled by installing a French drain to evacuate the foundation if water is present there.
- The floor can be cold in such a foundation and hence winters can be hard. This happens as the result of air exchange that is carried beneath in the crawlspace. There is subflooring in the crawl space yet it is common to see flooring that is laid on the flooring joists.
In many ways, the pier and beam foundation is perfect for building houses. Still, these foundations are surrounded by shortfalls. These shortfalls need to be checked and preventive measures must be taken before constructing one. Several centers provide the service to repair any damage in the foundation. It is common to find a good pier and beam service.