3 Types of Foundations - Crawlspace, Basement, Pilings

Basement Superior Walls

When it comes to building your new Beracah Home, the first decision you’ll need to make is: what foundation you’re going to have?  There are 3 types of foundations that are suitable to building a Beracah home, and give you access the underside of your home; those foundation types are crawlspace, basement and piling.  Beracah Homes are not built on “slab on grade” foundation simply because, well… you need to access your pipes and other great things under your home - and for our homes, this foundation is simply not feasible.

Your home starts with a solid foundation – it’s your home, choose what suits you best.   Naturally, your budget & situation (where located) will influence your choice, but know that Beracah has set over 2500 homes across Delmarva - & with each of those “sets” comes skilled “house setting” on foundations.  If you have never seen a house set (click here to watch on YouTube), it’s amazing to see.  Imagine - a large crane strategically positioned on your property, for ease of swinging the sections of your home (built in the factory in Greenwood) – onto your foundation (which was coincidentally recently completed).   Basements, Crawlspaces & Piling Foundations may only be 3 types of “foundations” however within those types, there are also variations which can further customize your foundation even more. 

There are pros and cons of each of these types of foundations; as a new homeowner it’s important information you’ll want to know – especially when it’s time to build your new Beracah Home.  Below you’ll find a little more about each type of foundation and the pros/cons/options of each.  Enjoy!

Crawlspace Foundation

Homes built on a crawlspace foundation are elevated a few feet off the ground.  A footing is poured, and concrete blocks are laid to create the foundation to support the walls of the structure.  A sill plate is installed on top your blocks & the Beracah modules are attached to the sill plate.  You can increase energy efficiency of your home by making your crawlspace “conditioned”.   

Pros : CRAWLSPACE

Accessible:  A crawlspace gives you access to your home’s wiring, piping, and ductwork, making for easy maintenance, repairs and future upgrades.

Cost: Typically the least expensive of all home foundation options – standard, 4-5 block foundation.  Great foundation and will last years – but standard. 

Cons : CRAWLSPACE

Prone to Moisture: Even with the installation of vapor barriers, an unconditioned crawlspace can support the growth of mold and fungi. You’ll want to keep an eye on your crawlspace for this reason.  Install Power Vents, Air Circulators, Dehumidifiers, etc.  Best case – condition the space.

Little Protection from Storms: A crawlspace has vents – flooding or excessive water may overflow, no shelter down ability. 

Crawling Underneath in the Crawlspace : Possibly the biggest deterrent of them all – let’s face it, if you have ever crawled around in your crawlspace before… it’s the worst.  It's a job that has to be done, but it is never enjoyable.

Basement Foundation

A basement is a big hole in the ground filled with a concrete floor and walls, add some structural support beams and it creates an incredible foundation for your home.   For many years, basement walls were built with cinder blocks & as a result, they were prone to structural failures and leaks as they aged.  Times have changed & enter building science.  Basements are excellent for anchoring your home to the ground & when done right are the perfect foundation.

PROS : BASEMENT

Finished Space: A great advantage to your basement is the additional square-footage that you gain—basements are great for everything from pantries, home theaters, gyms, playrooms and more – the conditioned space underneath your home is also exceptional.

Easier-Access for Repairs: It goes without saying that it’s easier for you or technicians to make repairs to your home’s utilities standing up rather than crawling into your crawlspace. 

Storm Protection: Basements make great shelters from the worst mother nature can throw at you, while still providing a solid anchor for your home.

CONS : BASEMENT


Cost: A basement can be expensive.

Possible Flooding: Without a sump pump, you may end up with a flooded basement. To combat (and virtually eliminate the threat of) flooding, we recommend battery backup, generators or water-flow backups.

Natural Light: Basements without walkouts are dark.  Natural light brings happiness to any room & without this, you may not spend as much time down in your basement as you had planned.  Walkouts give access to the outside world and allow for large windows and double doors to flood light inside… but add to your cost.  

Pilings

Beracah builds many homes on piling foundations.  Delmarva is one of the largest peninsulas inside the continental US; with water everywhere and insurance providers/code regulations/etc, homeowners living here are required to raise the elevation of their homes.

Pile foundations provide protection for the broadest range of flooding conditions. This foundation system consists of the pile supports, and foundation bracing for additional resistance to lateral wind, floodwaters, and seismic events. A properly designed pile foundation can withstand high-wind and water and can resist erosion.

Piles are vertical supports similar to posts, but differ in the method and depth of placement. Piles are embedded much deeper than posts and do not rest on footings for resistance. Instead, the piles are driven until they rest on a solid support layer, such as bedrock, or until they are embedded deep enough that the friction between the ground and the piles will enable them to resist the gravity, lateral, and uplift loads expected to act on them.  The most commonly used piles in residential construction are wood. Steel and precast concrete piles are also used.

PROS : PILINGS

Strongest Foundation : Pilings will withstand anything.  Your home will be raised high enough off the ground that whatever coastal flooding/tides/storm surge/etc may come, you won’t have to worry.

View : Life in the air always has a beautiful view. 

CONS : PILINGS

Cost : The most expensive of foundational supports.  You have a lot of options with pilings in types of piles to use.  We’ve set homes on almost each kind, so your new Beracah Home will be looking nice sitting atop them. 

Certain Storm Protection:  As pilings are good for just about any other major weather event – any event in which you’re advised to “shelter down” - underneath your pilings is not an option.