How to Build Your Home: Laying Foundations

Laying foundations accounts for about 12% of a new build budget.

How much thought have you given to a structure you may never actively see or engage with?

We understand how interior finishes, framing, and landscaping are often at the forefront of thinking up a dream home. However, the foundation is crucial to building a home that will last through soil changes and weather extremes. We’re here to help make foundations a seamless project in your DIY home so you can get to the fun stuff.

Continue reading below for our guide on home foundations and get to work thinking of what’s below the ground of your perfect house.

What Is a Foundation?

The foundation supports the total weight of your home, providing stability and structure to make the property livable. A foundation is the first step in building a house and arguably plays the most critical role.

A strong foundation means your home remains stable even with changing soil or significant storms.

The property’s soil must be taken into account when laying foundations. Northern climates that experience frost fare better with a basement foundation, whereas southern coastal areas need a slab foundation to account for shifting soil.

Make sure you make educated choices around laying foundations and working with experts who bring knowledge and equipment to your project.

3 Main Types of Foundations

Laying foundations starts with researching what soil you have, how climate affects the earth, and the maximum budget you can create. With that information, you can then select the best foundation for your needs.

There are three main types of foundations homeowners choose from:

  • Basement foundation (full or daylight)
  • Crawl space
  • Concrete slab

A basement foundation tends to be the most expensive option, being the deepest and most complex one. This style allows you to have additional storage or living space which can significantly increase a home’s value. A basement spans the perimeter of the house and has reinforced walls with steel rods and concrete.

A crawl space foundation is a median option as far as budgeting is concerned. Short foundation walls stand one to four feet tall, with enough room to store items like electrical and plumbing above ground. Crawl space foundations may attract rodents, insects, or mold, so you should account for proper ventilation and future inspections.

Finally, a concrete slab is the cheapest foundation option. A four to six-inch concrete slab is reinforced with tension rods and encase items like water supply or drainage pipes. You do miss out on the storage option with this foundation and accessing pipes becomes harder.

Laying Foundations Financing

Depending on location and dream home features, building a home may run you a similar cost to purchasing an existing property. However, you are afforded more customization when you choose to develop.

Laying foundations is only one financial aspect to consider but a great starting point in your project! There are several types of construction loans that will get you moving on construction work.

A one-time-close or construction-to-permanent loans are the less common though more efficient type. These convert to traditional mortgages once you can occupy the home.

Do some digging and check out an FHA, USDA, or Fannie Mae for this type of loan.

You also have the option to use several loans for each part of the process, such as using a loan just for laying foundations. Expect more paperwork and turnaround time with this option as each new loan beckons a new process.

Build Your DIY Home Today

Building a house involves many layers of construction to create a functional home for your family. Laying foundations will make or break your home, so this project deserves the extra attention to ensure you build a home that lasts through the ages.

Use the guide above to create appropriate foundations, and check out our blog for other posts to make you a DIY home pro.