Cleveland Home Builder Tips, How To Choose The Right Foundation

Picture 139-resized-600.jpgSo you’ve found the perfect lot, and selected your home builder. It’s time to start planning the home of your dreams.

A home, after all, is only as good as its foundation.

Here are some fundamentals and tips for the various options and decisions involved as you build the right foundation for your new home.

Following are key questions to consider when selecting the right foundation for your new home:

  • Will I have interior and exterior drain tile? Drain tiles are critical because they collect and direct water seepage away from your home. Here’s a post that explains the drain tile types and functions.
  • How much limestone will go over the drain tile? Even though limestone is expensive, the more limestone you put around your foundation the quicker the water will get to the footer tile. We recommend no less than 12″ above the footer tile. (*Note: Check your city building codes, some cities may require more than 12″). From an industry perspective, there’s no such thing as too much limestone around exterior foundation walls.
  • Will I have a warranty on my foundation walls? A good example of warranties available is Tuff-N-Dry, which offers up to 30 year warranties.
  • Will I need a sump pump, or will the storm sewer be low enough that I I can elevate the sump pump?

*Note: If deciding to go with a block foundation, you must figure in 12″ block, not 8″, for your basement walls.

Limestone is optimal for fill and for your foundation walls. Ground soil and type of wall will also determine the width and thickness of your footers. (As with limestone, there is also no such thing as using too much rebar).

As a consumer, be aware that many contractors will fill the garage with dirt as opposed to stone fill, then put a layer of stone over the fill and tamper it. The issue with using dirt over stone fill is that it takes years for dirt to settle,which could lead to your garage floor cracking, and which is less preferable in the long run.

Some contractors will put a foundation ledge inside the garage and install rebar, which is excellent. However, doing so still won’t guarantee support of the garage floor’s center area. Filling your garage with limestone settles immediately, and will support all areas of the garage floor.

Remember, most garage foundations are next to a basement wall, which could require 8′ of fill — and limestone fill has no outward pressure. Spending a few hundred dollars more for limestone instead of putting it in your pocket provides additional insurance.

If you’re planning on building a new home in Northeast Ohio, or would like to learn more about basement foundation and footer options, take advantage of our free home building assessment.