Your dream has been to build your home on or near the coast. You’ve worked hard to achieve this dream and can’t wait to smell the ocean air and nightly watch the awesome sunsets that Florida is famous for. And those are just a few of the many positives of living on the coast.
So plan your build to stand the test of time. How? First and foremost, a thorough study of the proposed build site needs to be done to determine the foundation design. Things like flood conditions and erosion patterns need to be considered as homes built on the shore should be designed to “beat” the elements. Here’s where things can go wrong if you cut corners on your home’s foundation.
The definition of the word foundation literally means the groundwork or basis of anything. That’s exactly what your home’s foundation is – It’s the stable, secure base your home is built on. It needs to be especially stable and secure in coastal builds where the elements can be harsh and punishing to a foundation. Damaging elements include high winds, flooding, and waves all of which can wreak havoc on your home’s stability.
Knowing what type of foundation is best for coastal builds is the most important decision to make prior to construction. The main types of coastal foundations are open, closed, deep and shallow foundations. Of these, open foundations are the most popular and also the best choice.
Open foundations are specifically designed for elevated buildings as they allow water to pass through the foundation, relieving stress. Wooden piles are driven into the soil (sand) and act as a pair of stilts to elevate the structure. Because of their design, they are a recommended foundation for a coastal build. Their design minimizes the vertical surface area thus reducing the exposure to damage. An added plus is that the “open” design keeps debris from building up and causing damage in high water or flooding situations.
Let’s face it – it’s impossible to predict the elements and how they will or will not affect your home. That’s why it’s so important to begin the build project with the “right” foundation. Don’t cut corners here. Consult experienced foundation specialists. We’ve seen it all and our engineers can offer experienced advice on how your foundation can minimize coastal foundation challenges. In short, the foundation’s function is to support and protect the structure and your investment – your coastal dream home.
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