You may be familiar with the slab foundation but pier and beam is another common type that has numerous benefits. When choosing a pier and beam foundation, you may find that you have the option to use concrete piers or steel piers. If you are uninformed on the advantages and disadvantages of both, this post will hopefully shed some light on them so that you can make the best decision for your home.
Pier and Beam Foundation Explained
A pier and beam foundation is composed of (like the name suggests) piers and beams. Piers are vertical structures that are placed deep into the earth that support beams. Beams are the horizontal structures that distribute the weight of our house evenly among the piers.
The most common materials for piers are concrete and steel; and while both have their advantages and disadvantages, it can largely depend on the budget and expectations of the buyer for which one will better suit them.
Concrete piers are the more common option because of their affordability. The fact is, it is much cheaper to create concrete piers than it is to create steel ones. These are made by digging a hole with an auger, placing rebar in the hole, and filling it with concrete. With this method, it can take nearly a week for the concrete to dry.
One of the disadvantages of concrete piers is that they can usually not go as deep as steel piers, which although not a major concern in Texas, can be troublesome in areas with deeper soils.
Steel piers are less common but still a popular choice for pier and beam foundations. As they are much more expensive than concrete piers, people tend to shy away from them.
Since they are more expensive, they tend to provide better structural support. They are pushed deeper into the ground than concrete piers and are not as easily distrubed by soil movements. This also allows them to hold more weight than concrete pilings. There is also a special type of steel pier known as a helical pier that has recently gained traction in the foundation industry.
Are Steel Piers or Concrete Piers Right for You?
Like any major decision regarding your home, you should talk to professionals. They will know the best options for you and can guide you through the process so you make the right choices. If you don’t plan on staying in a house for long then it would be foolish to pay for expensive steel pilings. If you live in an area with frequent and severe soil movement, concrete pilings may not be sufficient for your house. Everyone’s situation is different so make sure to talk to the experts so you don’t end up making an expensive mistake.
Concrete Piers or Steel Piers with Innovative Foundations
Whether you have concrete piers or steel piers, the experts at Innovation Foundations can perform whatever repairs necessary to give you the peace of mind that you deserve from your foundation. Give us a call or fill out our online form for all of your foundation needs!