Two distinct types of foundations are common in the Metroplex for residential construction, concrete slab and pier and beam. A concrete slab is just as the name suggests, a slab poured on the ground to provide a foundation for a structure.
While there are several different types of concrete slab foundations such as a cable tension slab foundation or an engineered slab foundation or a floating slab foundation they are all concrete slab on grade foundations.
All may or may not (if you are reading this, normally not) be supported by drilled, steel reinforced, poured concrete builders piers.
The other distinct type of foundation is the pier and beam foundation, which consists of piers (generally wood or concrete) supporting beams or girders, which, in turn, support floor joists, which supports the flooring and wall structure.
Although a concrete perimeter beam (which may or may not support brick siding) built in conjunction with this type of structure, may look like a concrete slab, if piers support beams and floor joists then it is a pier and beam foundation.
These concrete perimeter beams may also be supported by drilled, steel reinforced, poured concrete builder’s piers. Which is the normal method used by reputable builders to prevent foundation failures.
Normally, foundation problems are soil problems. As the highly elastic soils prevalent in the Metroplex dry out, they shrink.
As they become wet, they expand. Generally speaking, homes can settle in the summer and rise up in the winter. Unequal or erratic moisture applications will cause some areas to be more susceptible to movement. To help avoid foundation problems, water application should be systematic and evenly spread around the structure and out into the surrounding soils in order to provide consistent moisture content in supporting soils throughout the year.
Please also note builders in the DFW area do not use pipes pushed into the ground by a weight equal to that of the structure, nor do they push concrete blocks or cylinders beneath the structure using the weight of the structure. They drill and pour steel reinforced concrete builders piers.
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