What Type of Foundation Does Your Northern Ohio Home Have?

February 24, 2023

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Inexperienced or first-time homeowners might wonder, what type of foundation does a home have? Finding out is vital, as different foundation materials and designs need additional maintenance. Also, knowing more about your home’s foundation construction allows you to spot damage more readily.

The good news is that it’s not difficult to determine what type of foundation sits underneath an Ohio home. Additionally, most foundation repair contractors are happy to perform inspections free of charge. In the meantime, note some tips for determining your home’s foundation construction.

what type of foundation does the home have

Basements vs. Pier and Beam

Sometimes homeowners forget that a basement is the home’s foundation! Basement walls and floors hold up the weight of the home, acting as its foundation. This includes walkout basements, meaning they have a separate entrance to the outside.

Pier and beam foundations create a crawl space under the home. These foundations use piers or posts inserted into the ground. Those piers attach to long horizontal beams on the home’s underside. The piers lift the home off the ground, creating a crawl space.

The difference between a basement and crawl space is that basements have four walls and a concrete floor. Also, basement spaces are often livable, with ventilation, windows for egress, electricity, and drainage. Basements often hold appliances, including a water heater, washer, and dryer.

On the other hand, crawl spaces typically have dirt floors and no walls. While a homeowner might use a crawl space for storing small items, they’re not livable or safe for habitation. In many cases, crawl spaces are too small to stand up in them! Lastly, as do basements, crawl spaces rarely have access from inside the home.

On-Grade Slab and Raised Slab Foundations

As the name implies, a slab foundation is a flat concrete block. There are two types of slab foundations; on-grade slabs and raised slabs. On-grade refers to a flat slab on the property’s grade or soil’s surface. Homes with on-grade slab foundations are right on the ground, often without any steps to the porch or entryway.

Raised slabs consist of these same concrete blocks but are poured to be several inches tall. A raised slab lifts or raises a home off the ground by those few inches. However, note that they still have a solid concrete block under them. In turn, raised slab foundations don’t have a basement or crawl space under them.

To discern the difference between raised slabs and pier and beam foundations, note if there is an open space under the home. You may have a raised slab if a small concrete wall surrounds the structure! If there is an open space you can access from the outside, that’s probably a pier and beam foundation.

slab foundation

Which Type of Foundation is Best?

Every foundation construction type offers pros and cons. In turn, your home has no “best” or “worst” foundation! However, note those pros and cons if you’re considering new construction or a home purchase. Then, you can decide the right choice for your needs and budget.


The most obvious benefit of a basement foundation is its added storage and livability. You can even create bedrooms or apartments in the space with proper egress and other updates!

However, basements without added waterproofing often tend to trap moisture, risking cracks. Excess moisture can also risk wood rot, mold, and other needed repairs.

Crawl spaces

While crawl spaces are not habitable, homeowners can typically use the space for storage. Also, a crawl space allows for easier access to floor joists, wiring, and plumbing under a home. A raised home on piers and beams can also look statelier than slab foundations.

On the downside, crawl spaces tend to trap moisture that risks framing damage, mold, and other issues. Additionally, cold air in the space can mean uncomfortable interior flooring. Some crawl spaces can also become home to insects, rodents, and other pests!

Slabs and raised slab foundations

One advantage offered by slab foundations is that they often don’t have subflooring that might eventually rot and need replacing. Two, a flat slab is excellent for anyone struggling with stairs. Finally, raised slabs also create a statelier look for a home and offer a better view of the property’s surroundings.

Toledo Foundation Repair Specialists is happy to help answer the question, what type of foundation does an Ohio home have? For expert foundation services on your property, call our team. We offer guaranteed foundation repairs and waterproofing services. To find out more, contact us today!

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