One of the most common questions we get from customers is about the type of foundation they have and what that means for them when it comes to foundation repairs. Today we’ll be going over two of the most common--and one of the less common--types of foundations in Texas and how to identify what kind you have.
The most common type of foundation in East Texas is a slab foundation. A slab foundation is, as the name indicates, a slab of concrete on top of which your home is built. Slab foundations are found really frequently in homes built within the last 40 years or so.
Slab foundations do reasonably well in East Texas. The solid concrete slab lasts a long time and isn’t prone to cracking over time. The real problem East Texan homeowners have with concrete slabs is the fact that the ground shifts a lot. A flood or sudden change in the ground can result in a foundation crack.
It’s really easy to determine if you have a slab foundation. If your home sits directly on the ground and you have no crawlspace, then you likely have a slab foundation.
Pier & Beam Foundations
A pier and beam foundation consists of concrete piers driven into the earth beneath your home. The bottom of your home will be constructed from large wooden beams. The beams rest on the concrete piers anywhere from 18” to 30” off the ground.
Pier and beam foundations do well in East Texas--sometimes better than slab foundations. Very, very few homes are built on piers and beams anymore. Slab foundations are much cheaper and, for contractors, easier and faster to complete. It’s a shame because they’re more resistant to the shifting ground in East Texas.
To determine if you have a pier and beam home, see if you have a crawlspace. If your home has a crawlspace, you have a pier and beam home.
There aren’t many basement foundations in East Texas. A combination of the shifting ground, reasonably high groundwater supplies and lots of rock beneath the earth make them impractical if not impossible to build in most of the region.
There are a few, though. It’s easy to tell if your home has a basement foundation--you probably have a basement that you use as another room of your home! You’ve probably also heard guests say “I’ve never been in a basement before” pretty frequently.