All homes must have foundations as a base. It’s a fact. Without a foundation your home would be unstable and there isn’t an inspector on the planet that would approve a dwelling without a solid foundation! Think of foundations as an anchor that keeps your home in place!

There are four types of foundations: basements, crawlspaces, slabs and pier & beam. We thought we’d give you a brief overview of each type in this four-part series on foundations, starting with basements.

Basements are a wonderful addition to any home’s footprint. But, there are many areas where basements just won’t work – it all depends on the water table and how close it is to the surface. Unfortunately, most areas in Florida aren’t suitable for basements, but don’t despair, there are exceptions – some areas in Florida are on higher ground and suitable for basements.

The beauty of having a basement foundation is the extra space it adds to your home. In some cases, it can double the size of your home as basements often mimic the footprint of the house. Older homes will have ceilings at least six feet up from the ground, whereas newer homes will have higher ceilings.

Regardless of the ceiling height, basements are great extra space that can be climate controlled and turned into extra rooms like bedrooms, a den, man cave, laundry room, storage and more. You get the picture, the sky’s the limit when it comes to ideas for uses for basements!

The basement foundation is usually constructed of poured concrete or concrete block with mortar. These are very strong, but can fall victim to wet ground or shifting sands and develop cracks over time. Here in Florida we have both water and sand, making basements vulnerable over time.

If you have a basement, feel lucky. And if you notice any cracks or shifting (doors don’t close easily, etc.), contact a foundation specialist sooner rather than later. As is the case with anything, repairing problems at the onset is easier and less expensive.

Next we’ll talk about crawlspace foundations that are found throughout Florida.