Years ago, before slab foundations became the norm, most homes sat on pier and beam foundations. In certain parts of the country, this is still the case. Most new homes in North Texas are built on slabs but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good reasons for pier and beam homes. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of pier and beam foundations.
Pros and Cons of Pier and Beam Foundations
We’ll start with the pros. There are several benefits to pier and beam even in the relatively dry Plano area:
- Easy access- Homes built with pier and beams generally have a crawl space that can be accessed by contractors if you have any problems. This can include plumbing, structural, electrical, etc
- Earlier detection of problems- In the event that something is going wrong with your house, plumbing problems, termites, other pest infestation, etc. it is possible that by having a pier and beam style foundation, you might be able to detect the issue sooner before it becomes an enormous problem.
- Foundation work- Depending on the extent of damage, pier and beam structures can sometimes be easier to fix if there are foundation problems (see our description of the process below)
- Flooding- Though you might still get some damage, if your area is prone to flooding a house set off the ground might better withstand small floods better than a house set on the ground.
Now, the cons of pier and beam structures:
- Lack of expertise- Since pier and beam foundations are sort of a dying practice in much of the country, it might be difficult finding contractors who are up to the challenge of building a home with them (assuming you are deciding on whether to use pier and beam vs slab in a new construction).
- Common sagging floors- Over time on a pier and beam home it is not uncommon for floors to sag in certain parts of the home. Even if there is not visible sag, there is often an audible creak that can be heard.
- Infestations and mold- Depending on the way a crawlspace is constructed and, maybe more important, how it is insulated, moisture can be constantly present. In these cases the dark, moisture rich environment can be a breeding ground for pests and mold. If left unchecked both of these can be disastrous to your house.
Whether the pros outweigh the cons is a decision you may need to make when either building a new home or buying a previously owned one. If your interest are specifically related to the potential for foundation repairs, as noted above, it can sometimes be cheaper than slab foundations- depending on the extent of damage.
Overview of the Repair Process for Pier and Beam Foundations
GL Hunt has extensive experience in repairing pier and beam foundations. Check out Plano Texas Foundation Pros for contact info on how to schedule repair for your pier and beam home with them. The folks over at Richardsonfoundationrepair.site present a good overview of the repair process:
Pier and Beam Repair Process
The process of pier and beam repair occurs in stages. Here is an overview of those different steps:
- First, the areas is cleared of shrubs and plants
- We lay down cover to protect the lawn
- Hydraulic jacks are then used to lift the interior to its desired level. This is a crucial step and requires a careful professional.
- After the house is lifted, the crew removes any other shimming and replaces it with permanent fillers.
- Beams are then added where needed.
- If necessary, blocks, steel piers, and interior pads are also added to further stabilize the structure
- After all of that, steel or concrete piers are added to replace the hydraulic jack
- Process completion and clean up
Read the full article at: http://richardsonfoundationrepair.site/pier-beam-repair-richardson-texas/
If your home is a pier and beam type and you believe you may be having issues with your foundation, contact GL Hunt at (469) 909-1827.