If you have decided that you are going to build a luxury log home (with the help of a site like http://www.pioneerloghomesofbc.com/), you have probably spent a lot of time pouring over the plans. You probably have already decided the exact components that you want inside of your home, but have you decided what you want underneath your home? What type of foundation will your home sit on? Even if you choose to go with a slab foundation, all of these are not created equal. It is important that you understand the differences since the stability of your home will depend upon it.
Why Choose A Concrete Slab Foundation
Your foundation serves a very important purpose. Not only will bear the weight of your heavy log home, it will provide the flat level surface that your builders will rely on to construct your home.
Since your home is being constructed from the finest grades of wood, you have to take extra measures to ensure that your home does not come into contact with the ground. Wood sitting directly on the ground will result in rotting, as well as may become a meal for termites. A solid concrete foundation will keep this from occurring.
While a solid concrete foundation appears to sit directly on, or slightly below the ground level, there is often more to it that you cannot see. The best type of slab will often be determined by the weather temperatures in your area. There are three basic choices when you choose to go with a slab foundation.
- T-shaped - If you live in an area where the ground experiences solid freezes, this is the type of foundation you may want to choose to support your log home. It consists of a footing that is poured below your ground's frost line, which will be designed to be wider than your wall line. Once the footing is poured, a T-shaped foundation is added above your footings. After this cures, your wall supports will be added prior to the actual slab being poured.
Building this type of foundation will help ensure your slab has more stability and is not as susceptible to changes brought on by the changes in temperature.
- Slab-on-grade - When you choose to construct your home on a slab-on-grade foundation, you will be sitting your home on a foundation that is a single thick layer of concrete. The slab is usually designed to be constructed on top of a bed of crushed gravel, which helps to aid with any type of water drainage. When the slab-on-grade foundation is poured, the outer edges are poured slightly thicker and reinforced with rods to form integral footings.
Slab-on-grade is best used in areas where the ground does not experience hard freezes, but it can be reinforced to handle some level of frost heaving. Wire mesh, along with rebar are usually placed within the concrete to help to prevent cracking.
- Frost protected - If you live in an area that has relatively mild winters, but where you may experience some ground freezing in the winter, you may want to have a frost protected foundation placed under your home. Constructed much like the slab-on-grade foundation, it comes with a little extra. This type of slab utilizes insulation to prevent any damage to your slab caused by freezing.
Construction uses two sheets of heavy, polystyrene insulation. One sheet is placed over the bed of gravel, at the base of your walls, and one will be applied directly to the outside of your foundation walls. This insulation holds in the heat from your home's structure, and prevents heat loss from the ends of your slab. It then uses this heat to keep the ground temperature around your footings warm.
This is a simplistic explanation of the three types of concrete slab foundations you may consider. Ask your builder what types of concrete foundations they suggest for homes being constructed in your area. Most builders have a very strong preference based on their experiences. They will be able to provide you with more pros and cons of each type.