There are many factors that go into choosing a foundation for a log home, but most will depend on your personal preferences. Here are a few things to consider when you begin the process of building your new log home and choosing the right foundation:
- The building site will play a big role in choosing the right foundation. The slope of the land, the type of soil, the ease of excavation, the potential view and how you will have to allow for storm water run off are all factors determined by your site. A slab is not a good choice if there is a steep slope. If you are building on solid rock, a basement may be very expensive as it will require blasting.
- Your personal preferences will play a big role in choosing a basement. Some people do not want a basement because they do not want to go up and down stairs, or they worry about accumulating a collection of “junk” in the basement. Others like the extra storage space a finished basement can provide. Some people like the feel of a concrete slab floor.
- The type and design of your HVAC system will have an impact on the type of foundation you choose. If you are building in a northern climate and don’t need air conditioning, a slab with radiant floor heat may be perfect for you. If you want central forced air heat, a crawlspace or basement may be a better choice. Some of the newer split systems are making this less of an issue.
What material and type of foundation is most common?
Concrete block or poured-in-place concrete is the most common residential foundation material. Concrete slab on grade is the most popular foundation in the Southeast. Basements are more common in the East and Midwest. Crawlspaces are preferred in the Northwest and Southeast. Pile foundations are commonly used in coastal flood zones to elevate structures above flood levels and eliminate issues on site related to steep slopes or weak soil.
The type of foundation you choose will be closely tied to the climatic conditions where you are building.
Foundations have to be built to extend at or below the frost line. In colder areas, houses are usually built with a basement as the frost depth may be several feet below the ground. Slab foundations are quicker and cheaper to construct if you are building in a warmer climate and have a flat building site.
Are foundations different for a log home?
You do not typically require any bigger or deeper footer or foundation wall for a log home versus a stick frame home. The log home may weigh more than a frame home but the weight is disbursed evenly along the foundation.