Building a Home with a Pier and Beam Foundation

What New Homeowners Need to Know About a Pier and Beam Foundation

As a new homeowner you have many decisions to make, choosing a foundation is one of them. The chose of a pier and beam foundation for your new home is probably your best option, with one of the only drawbacks being, depending who you ask, that it takes longer to start construction when using a pier and beam foundation.

As a result it makes your cost of construction go up but can actually end up saving you money on the energy cost of heating and cooling your new home.

Let's take a look at the advantages of a pier and beam foundation and you can decide if it's best for you or if a concrete slab is better suited for you and your home.

Picture of a Pier and Beam Foundation
Picture of a Pier and Beam Foundation

The Advantages of a Pier and Beam Foundation

Although choosing to build a home on a pier and beam foundation can take longer than your basic slab foundation there are some advantages to using a pier and beam foundation vs a slab foundation. I think that these advantages far outweigh the use of a slab on grade foundation and here are some reasons why.

Why use a Pier and Beam Foundation

  • A pier and beam foundation doesn't hold heat, which increases your cooling bill during the warm and hot summer months like a slab foundation would.
  • They are less affected by frost and ground moisture that can cause vulnerability to your foundation.
  • Maintenance on this form of foundation is easier to do, with plumbing and HVAC easily accessed due to piers being at least 18 in. from the ground in most areas.
  • Some people even say that walking on a floor in a home built with a pier and beam foundation is better for people with back pains and joint problems.
  • When it comes to foundation repairs it's easier to repair a pier and beam vs a slab on grade foundation.
  • Putting a home with a pier and beam foundation on the real estate market may sell quicker and for more profit than a home with a slab.
  • A pier and beam foundation can level out a slopping or hillside lot making it safer and easier to build on.

These are the reasons that a pier and beam are better than a slab foundations. Be sure to discuss this option with your contractor. Some contractors will simply choose which type of foundation they want to lay, and most would rather just go with a slab. Slabs are much easier to lay and take less time.

Which means the quicker a builder can move on to the next project the more cash in their pockets, so make sure they know you prefer one over the other. After all, you have to live in the home, not them.

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