You are currently viewing 7 House Foundation Types

7 House Foundation Types

Building a Strong House Foundation

A foundation refers to the lower part of a structure, designed to spread and balance the weight of the structure.  The foundation bears the weight of the entire house, transferring the force through to the ground beneath. For this reason, most foundations are made of concrete and dug into the earth for added stability.

In warmer locations like Uganda (the tropics) most houses are built with crawl spaces or slab foundations while in many western countries(cold climates)  they’re likely built with a basement and utilize strip footings and foundations walls for their construction, Different foundations can be built to accommodate any kind of structure. For instance, a house on the beach or a  House Foundation On Slope requires a raised foundation built on concrete or steel pilings.

house foundation

Other raised foundations include foundation walls built of concrete, bricks, stone or concrete blocks with a crawlspace that includes added piers underneath the house for support. Any house that includes concrete in the foundation requires a slump test of the concrete during the beginning of the foundation’s construction.

Why is a house Foundation important?

The foundation carries the weight of the entire house on its shoulders, offers a level base for wall construction and separates the wood framing of the house from termites on the ground.

Purpose Of Providing Foundation To The Structures and Why Your Foundation Is The Most Important Part Of Your House. Finally, a well-laid foundation can help waterproof your property and prevent groundwater from rising into the lower reaches of your home. You can’t afford to be complacent about the setting out of foundations – getting it wrong is all too easy.

Foundation Design Aspects

Repairing a sinking foundation is not a cheap endeavor and that’s why it is important to get it right the first time.

A foundation is the single most important component of structure and a strong and good quality foundation keeps the building standing when shaken by the forces of nature. As a matter of fact, many countries require protection from shifting caused by cold weather conditions.

Its also important at this stage to plan in advance how utilities enter the home before pouring a foundation, doing this early in the design is critical and will minimize any future cost variation.

house foundation


The next critical phase is determining the depth of the foundation. This is another tricky one, regardless, the standard digging range of any building is between 1.2 to 1.5 meters, where the hard rock is found and building of the foundation can start.

Although, designing and building a stable, dry and trouble-free foundation is not rocket science but proper detailing is important. Before settling on a system that is intended to have a real property classification, it is always prudent to confer with area lenders about locally acceptable foundation systems.


House Foundation Types

Deciding to build a new home comes with a lot of important decisions and a foundation selection is key. The type and quality of craftsmanship of the foundation supporting your structure have a direct bearing on your comfort and the building’s durability. For instance, a concrete slab foundation may work well in dry areas, but it is not the best choice for a house built at the beach. Having this knowledge will guide you to build a dependably durable house.

7 House Foundation Types 1

Another important consideration is that the type of foundation used in your home’s construction may also impact your insurance premium or loan from a bank, and in some cases determine whether coverage is available at all. In many instances, Insurance providers will ask you what form of foundation supports your home, and what kind of waterproofing has been undertaken in your substructure. They may also ask if the foundation shows any visible signs of erosion or cracking, as this may compromise its structural rigidity.

1.      Crawl space foundations

A crawlspace is a combination of basement foundation and slab foundation, having concrete footings with concrete walls that extend a few feet above the surface.  A crawl space foundation raises your home 1 to 3 feet off the ground; enough space to crawl, but not to stand- hence the name.  It is a good choice in an area with a high water table or tendency to flood.

It is less costly compared to other foundations and better choices for those who hope to remain conscious of the budget.


2.      Basement foundation

Basements are one of the common types of foundations used in house construction, yet many people don’t know about it.  Usually built by excavating down to around 8 feet, then constructing a floor and walls for the resulting space. This type of foundation spreads the load over a bigger area of ground and is more expensive to form than strip footings because it is a slab of reinforced concrete the size of the house footprint.

When limited exist a basement foundation may be what you need and the Benefits include additional space it provides but the additional costs required to build a basement foundation make it the most expensive version, are not recommended in flood-prone areas, as it also requires more installation time.


3.      strip foundations

Clay tends to compress gradually and houses built on this type of ground may settle gently over time, with the common solution of strip foundations. Strip foundations are usually recommended in softer soils, such as sand since they spread the load of the structure out over a greater area.

4.      Slab foundations

As the name suggests, a slab foundation is a slab of concrete that sits on the final grade of your structure, and the weight of the structure is transferred to the soil through a concrete slab placed at the surface. This type of foundation is by far the cheapest to manufacture, requiring very little on-site preparation. From a structural perspective, slab foundations offer a durable and leveled surface for floors. it works best in areas where the ground does not freeze in the winter months.


The main downside, Slab foundations are vulnerable to pressure caused by freezing and thawing ground, so they’re best used in warmer climates where the ground rarely freezes, as this can lead to cracks in the concrete and shifting of the foundation.

Another important drawback of slab foundations is that water supply and drainage pipes are embedded in the concrete. Another downside of a slab foundation relates to its strength in extreme conditions.

5.      Stepped foundation

The Stepped footing is a widely used type of footing in the Construction of House Foundation on the slope. This type of Stepped foundation is generally used to reduce the cost of excavation required to construct the foundation on the slope. Stepped Foundation is also popularly known as stepped footing. The main purpose of the Stepped Foundation is to avoid the direct contact of the column with the underneath soil to prevent the corrosive effect and effectively transfer the load into the ground. It is one of the Challenging parts for Engineers that how to build a foundation on a slope.

The stepped footing is one of the most Economical solutions to build Foundation on the slope areas. The most appropriate type of foundation which is used in the construction of a foundation where the natural slope is not available is a Stepped Foundation.


6.      Pile foundation

A pile foundation is used with building heavier homes because the pillars displace the weight over a larger area, preventing sinking over time. It is one of the types of deep foundations made of concrete, timber, or steel.

Installing these type of foundations require more time and effort, but its ideal especially in areas with sandier soil and can last significantly. It’s generally used where soil below the foundation lacks the necessary bearing capacity to carry the weight of building into deep soil up to hard strata.


7.      Wall Footing Foundation

The wall foundation is constructed using plain concrete, or reinforced concrete stone, brick which provides a firm and flat level base for laying RCC work of the Footing while holding the moisture content of footing concrete without any soil soaking.


Nowadays, these types of foundations are increasingly being used where a light eco-structure is to be built, such as rammed earth walls or strawbale and timber walls.

These are concrete columns sunk deep into the ground to support the foundations.

A strip footing is used for load-bearing walls including footings for extensions and conservatories and house foundations.

Requirements of a Good Foundation

The foundation affects everything from the wall to the roof of the house. Foundations support the weight of your house, here’s what you need to know about them. But of all the elements in building a house, the most important part, the foundation, is usually ignored by the majority of new homeowners.

In 1973, the Uniform Building Code began to require that walls be anchored to foundations.

A fragile building foundation will start to show years down the line with walls cracking, roof bending and even the doors refusing to close.

When you are building a house, you need the foundation walls that are plumb and level and free of the discolorations that are the signs of weak concrete.


The retention of water element of black cotton soil is dangerous to the walls of a building’s foundation as it swells up and exerts pressure on the walls. For this reason, the black cotton soil has to be removed completely from the building site when constructing the foundation.

House Foundation Cost

House Foundation cost depends on many factors including the size of your home, the type and depth of foundation chosen. As a general guide, expect to pay around $5 per square foot for a slab foundation, $8 per square foot for a crawl space, and $20 per square foot for a basement, according to Home Advisor.

We have also found that the helical pile foundation will cost the same as the concrete scope for a basement foundation, meaning you will save the cost to do the excavation and backfilling.


What is the strongest foundation for a house?

I honestly have no straight answer to this, but from the many types discussed in this article, basements probably provide the strongest platform for your home- hence why their inclusion has been so widely adopted. However, getting the foundations of your building or extension right the first time applies not just to the type of foundations you use but also to a number of other factors such as distance to boundaries, ground conditions soil type, adjacent structures, trees, drains, and sewers.

The engineer should be able to calculate the design’s stress loads make recommendations for load-bearing walls, holding straps, floor and attic joist sizes, and foundations.


But the bottom line is a strong house foundation doesn’t need to just last a long while -it needs to last forever. Before embarking on any project, always do research on commonly known practices house and understand the benefits and drawbacks of each to ensure your home lasts for generations.



Why Many House Foundations Fail

A strong foundation is essential for any house because the foundation of your home is like an unsung hero for you. It is best practice to always conform to established building code as this may save you from many problems down the road.


Before you choose the home’s foundation, consider the structure of the soil where the house is being built. Backfilling can be done with native soil from excavation by placing it back against the foundation walls. However, silts or clays should never be used for this purpose because of their high water retention, making them hold water against the foundation for much longer. If the soil is too wet, it might require special engineering to design a foundation that will work. Soil compaction tests on the house site can help determine the type of foundation the land requires for building a strong home.

Many homeowners decide to save cash by digging a shallow foundation site, which is wrong.

If your property is extremely saturated and the water table is high, a traditional basement foundation may not be possible. Above ground foundations are generally recommended in such circumstances.

Anti-termite treatment is an important step to protect your building and foundation from the termite attack. Nearby trees, groundwater as well as water streams all need to be examined as they could impact on your foundations.


Foundation can also wither over time due to water exposure, weather changes, etc. because they are built inside the ground. You should apply a waterproof material over the foundation walls to protect it from such conditions. In some climates, it can be almost impossible to stop water from penetrating to the foundation, therefore a proper drainage plan must be in place in such senarios .

Also Insulation can’t be placed under the foundations, as it would compress under the weight of the house and cause foundation failure.


Rebuilding on  Same Foundation

Building a new house on an existing foundation is very possible, however, Your old foundation must be brought up to code before you can start framing.


Just because a foundation survived a fire that damaged the rest of the house doesn’t mean the intense heat didn’t compromise its integrity. Also check for moisture and pest infestation problems to rule any doubt.


Beyond this article,  the applications of  type of foundation discussed varies from country –to-country and be sure to consult with your project  Engineer and the construction governing body in your country before taking any decision.  Otherwise, should you be planning for any new project soon, its only wise to put it on a strong foundation.

Leave a Reply