House and Home

4 Common Types of Building Foundations

There are many different kinds of foundations used for building structures. The type of foundation a building has depends on the type of structure, where it’s built and what it’s being used for. Here are four common types of building foundations.

1. Raft Foundations

Raft foundations, also sometimes called mat foundations, are shallow types of foundations meant to support the weight of tall buildings, such as skyscrapers. They’re continuous slabs that transfer a structure’s weight across the entire area of the structure’s base, rather than focusing that transfer and support in certain areas of the base. These foundations are useful in locations with deep soil, but not in locations with high groundwater tables.

2. Slab Foundations

Slab foundations refer to solid blocks of concrete laid between the ground and the structure of a home. They’re often used when the ground is located near a high water table or is mainly composed of bedrock. For example, you might choose to build a house with a slab foundation Killeen TX because you’re less likely to need to worry about the foundation cracking in cold weather, while in Maine, a slab foundation wouldn’t be a good idea.

3. Pile Foundations

There are also options for deep foundations, such as pile foundations. A pile foundation is meant for a heavy structure. These foundations serve much the same function as mat and spread foundations. However, they can be used in areas where it’s more difficult to use such shallow types of foundation, such as where there are deep layers of looser soil.

4. Individual Footing Foundations

An individual footing foundation can also be referred to as an isolated footing foundation or a pad foundation. Individual footing foundation is the type of foundation most commonly used. Typically, individual footing foundations are single rectangular or square columns. The shape of this foundation type depends on the amount of horizontal force being exerted on the structure, as well as the size of the structure, the soil’s capacity of safe bearing and the weight the column will be expected to bear. Two or more individual columns can be grouped together to form a type of foundation called a combined footing foundation.

Some foundations are better suited for homes, while others are better suited for other types of buildings. When you’re looking to purchase or rent a home or other building, one of the things you should ask about is the type of foundation it has.

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