A Guide to the Different Types of Concrete Foundations

A solid concrete foundation should outlive you by lasting 80 to 100 years. That said, there are many different kinds of concrete foundations. Each has features that influence this life expectancy.

This handy guide will help you learn the difference between different forms. That way, you can select the best kind to use in your building. 

Your building’s foundation is one of the most integral parts of its total level of structural integrity. Choosing the right kind can make a big difference for the safety of its occupants.

Concrete Slab Foundations

Concrete slab foundations are one of the most common forms of foundations. This type of foundation is only appropriate for buildings that don’t have a basement.

In essence, it is a giant pad of concrete on which the weight of the building rests on. A concrete slab foundation is often built over a cushion of sand that aids in weight distribution and water drainage. 

The slab center is usually about 4-6 inches thick, while the edges get as thick as 24 inches. This makes the slab much stronger around the perimeter.

The structural integrity of the concrete slab is further fortified by the use of support beams as needed.

Block Foundation

These are a stronger alternative to poured foundations. As their name suggests, they are composed of blocks of concrete all stacked together.

They can support much more weight than poured concrete foundations. However, since they are made up of many different parts, they are more prone to leakage as time goes on.

Concrete Pier Foundation

A concrete pier foundation is a type of foundation that uses pylons to support a superstructure. Think about what a boat pier looks like, and you will get a good idea of how a concrete pier foundation works.

Another name for it is a post foundation. This type requires less raw materials than other forms of concrete foundations. 

It is also an excellent choice for buildings in areas prone to flooding as it lifts the structure well above the ground.

Concrete pier foundations are also some of the easiest to modify when making an earthquake-resistant building. This is because you can outfit each pillar with base isolation technology.

Choosing Between Foundations

Choosing the ideal foundation for your building all depends on your circumstances. If your building is hefty, you will want a more load-bearing foundation. 

If you are on a budget, you will want to examine the cost for each type closely.

No matter what type of foundation you choose, you should select a builder with experience creating all types of concrete foundations.

That way, you will be sure to get an honest opinion from them about which foundation best suits your needs.

Make an Educated Decision

Now you know about all the different types of concrete foundations. This allows you to make an educated decision about what will work best for your commercial building. 

Use the information in this guide to make the best decision to build the appropriate foundation for your commercial building. When you are ready to begin construction, contact us today so we can help you.

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