Types of Foundations for Your Home

The foundation is the first thing to be worked upon when masons start off on a construction project as it acts as a support or an anchor for the rest of the structure. Houses built long ago such as old mansions of Staten Island or the Coignet building, possibly the oldest concrete building in New York, conceal stone foundations underneath. However, modern houses use concrete foundations as it requires less labor and has strength similar to stone foundations. Concrete foundation contractors employ a variety of techniques to set up foundations, with the inclusion of reinforcements for added strength.

Most houses have a raised perimeter foundation that is essential to support the walls and serve as a base for flooring such as tiles or marble. It is a modern technique, which means older houses may have concrete piers instead of raised perimeter foundations.

It is common for concrete foundation contractors to employ different types of foundations for different portions of large houses. Many of the houses in Manhattan and Brooklyn are built in this way.

The lowermost part of a foundation, called footing is wider than the foundation wall. Footings are generally located as deep as 12 inches below the frost line to protect it from the freezing soil. The shape and dimension of the footing is designed to keep the foundation in place and prevent movement or sliding of the house.

Types of Foundations:

Foundations can be classified into 3 different types based on the weather and soil type in the area:

  1. T-Shaped Foundation: It is the most common type of foundation used in houses for their versatile design. The footings are built below the frost line, then the foundation walls are built on the top of the footings, followed by addition of a T-shaped foundation. Finally, concrete is added on the surface to build the topmost slab. T-shaped foundations are put to use in areas where the ground freezes to prevent frost action from weakening the foundation.
  2. Insulated Foundations: Unlike the above mentioned type which puts the foundation out of reach of frost, frost-free foundations use two sheets of rigid polystyrene, one trapped on the foundation wall and other in the base of the wall to insulate it from frost and prevent it from freezing. The heat trapped in the sheets help in defrosting trapped snow around the foundation.
  3. Slab-On-Grade Foundation: It makes use of slabs made of concrete as footing. They are reinforced with steel rods having thickened edges, sometimes followed by wire-mesh wrapping around the footing. It is used in areas where frost is not a problem.

Building different types of foundations requires skill, attention to detail and expertise as even the smallest of irregularities can cause major problems.

If you need professional foundation making/repairing services in New York, contact Tony’s Masonry at info@tonysmasonry.com or (718) 356–4437.