Foundations for a Cozy Home
Many of the popular tiny homes are built on a portable foundation like a trailer that can be towed around the country, or even on skids that can be moved around a piece of property. However, if you are thinking of putting down roots in a small or Cozy Home, you will most likely want a strong and solid foundation. There’s a saying that a home is only as good as its hat (roof) and boots. Let’s go over those boots.
There are several different types of foundations for a small home. A slab foundation, a concrete perimeter foundation, a basement foundation and a crawl space foundation. In some hotter parts of the world, some homes are built on a pier and beam foundation. Each of these foundations are built in different sections of the country and each have their own pros and cons.
Most homes in the South are built on a slab. A slab foundation is usually concrete poured directly onto the ground after the soil is removed and the grading is complete. It’s a quick, efficient and more inexpensive way to build a foundation and the pro is that concrete rather than wood is used to support the weight of the home.
Most homes in the north part of the country have a basement foundation. These types of foundations are constructed at least 8-10 feet into the ground with a concrete slab and concrete walls around the slab. The house rests on the concrete walls and the basement can act as an extension of the home. Some basements can be finished to include an extra room or storage and laundry space and some are used as a refuge during tornadoes or other fierce storms. A basement foundation does add additional cost to a small home.
Concrete Perimeter Foundation
For homeowners who want the stability of concrete, but don’t want to have a basement, a concrete perimeter foundation is a cheaper solution. A concrete perimeter foundation is formed by excavating around the outside dimensions of where the house will sit and pouring a layer of concrete known as footer into the ground. After the footer is poured, concrete blocks are cemented together on top of the footer to provide concrete block walls for the house to rest on.
Crawl Space Foundation
Crawl space foundations are usually built where the frost line is not as deep. This type of foundation is built above the ground allowing just enough room to crawl underneath to access wiring and plumbing. There are stem walls on the perimeters, pierced in-between and then a girder system and floor joists on top of that.
Pier and Beam Foundation
A pier and beam foundation consists of wood beams or posts that sit on top of concrete piers, with the house resting on the wood beams. The advantage of this type of foundation is that it is easier to construct and less expensive than a concrete perimeter foundation. A pier and beam foundation may be implemented in areas where there is a low risk of earthquakes or hurricane-velocity winds because the foundation is not embedded as deep into the ground as a concrete foundation.