Are you trying to determine the best foundation for your coastal home on the Connecticut shoreline? The coast of CT offers excellent views and easy water access, which gives homeowners many choices for outdoor activities. However, when it comes to the foundation of your new home, some types work better than others in areas prone to soil erosion and flooding. In this blog, we will take a closer look at five different kinds of home foundations.
Poured Concrete Foundations
Poured concrete foundations are also known as slab foundations. These work well for homes inland, though they may be used in coastal areas under certain conditions. This type of foundation starts by digging two feet below the soil’s surface and pouring a series of concrete footers. Next, two or more layers of concrete block are laid across the footers.
This process provides the space to lay the plumbing pipes. Once the plumbing pipes have been installed, the area is filled with gravel, rock, and soil. When the ground is level, the final layer of concrete is poured and left to cure, and the structure is built.
Homeowners choose slab foundations because they are inexpensive to install and require little to no maintenance. However, since the home is level with the ground, it provides very little protection against large storms unless the house is built on a raised elevation such as a hill or cliff. Another downfall of slab foundations is if the home ever experiences a slab leak, one where the pipes drip below the slab, the plumbing contractor must dig through the floor and the foundation to repair the lines — a costly fix.
A raised foundation is a better option for homes built in areas with mild to moderate storm activity. These types of foundations fall somewhere between a slab and a crawlspace. They are constructed similarly to slab foundations; however, they have more concrete blocks, usually up to a few feet, forming the foundation’s walls. Once the walls are built and the pipes are laid, the area is filled with soil and gravel. Then, the concrete top layer is poured and the house is built.
Raised foundations offer slightly more protection than a slab foundation, but they still don’t provide a lot of protection against flooding and severe weather. Homeowners typically choose this foundation because it’s relatively inexpensive and needs little maintenance.
Crawlspace or Stem Wall Foundation
Stem wall or crawlspace foundations are popular across the United States. They are similar to raised foundations. With crawlspace foundations, the space between the footers and the floor of the house is not filled. Instead, it is left as an open space that is either vented or unvented. Stem wall foundations allow for plumbing and electrical wires under the house to be easily accessed.
They also offer better insulation for the floor of the home. The biggest downside is moisture entering the house through the crawlspace. This includes storms, so if the crawlspace is only built a few feet above the soil elevation, it may be prone to flooding during inclement weather.
Pillar foundations are the best option when homes are built in areas susceptible to flooding or heavy waves. This is because the pillars are sunk deep into the soil until they hit bedrock, and they can be 15 feet or taller above ground. Pillar foundations are also an excellent option for those building in loose soil or sand. Once the pillars are installed, the home is built.
Pillar foundations offer the best protection against shifting and eroding soil as well as flooding and wave action. The downside is that the homeowner will have to climb many stairs to reach the front door.
Basement foundations aren’t typically recommended for properties on the coastline. These involve pouring concrete footers and building waterproof walls between eight and 10 feet tall. Once the walls are made, the home’s floor is installed, and the rest is constructed. One of the most significant benefits of a basement foundation is easy access to plumbing and wiring. They also often hold objects like water tanks, heaters, and furnaces.
Since basements are built underground, they typically don’t make for good foundations for coastal homes due to the risk of moisture infiltration and flooding. However, they do offer great protection in the event of high winds, such as those associated with tornadoes. It’s also important to keep in mind the cost of building a basement foundation. They are often more expensive to construct due to the need for advanced waterproofing and one or more sump pumps to keep water out of the space.
Have Your Coastal Home’s Foundation Built With K.E. Braza
When choosing the right concrete foundation design, let our team at K.E. Braza Construction help. We can examine your property, including the soil, water, high and low tides, flood risk, and recommend the right type of foundation that will keep your home protected.
To learn more about the best foundations for CT’s coastal homes, contact us today!