4 Types Of Foundations For Your Hawai’i Home

You want the best foundation type for your home, right?

It is what the rest of your home will be built on and it costs tons of money to change it.

So there’s no real going back.

The reality is, home foundations can be the most important part of your home.

This is why we believe everyone should be able to make an informed decision about the type of home foundation they want.

Concrete slab foundation

You can use this post to determine which you want from these 4 foundation types for homes, including:

  1. Basement
  2. Crawl Space
  3. Concrete Slab
  4. Pier

Let’s find out which one is best for your home!

You may need to repair your home foundation in the future, learn how here >>

1. Basement Foundations For Homes

You may have more maintenance with basements, but you can have more fun too.

Basement home foundation

Basements are built with concrete pillars to support the above floors. Then the walls are poured in around them.

Newer homes have basements that are usually a minimum of 8’ deep. This way you can convert them to another living space.

Which is only one of the reasons you can love having a basement:

  • Extra storage space
  • Cooler summers
  • Added resale value

Your basement can even be lit by the sun! All you need is a daylight basement, which exposes one side to the air so the sun can shine in.

But having a basement can cost you.

You will pay more money for a basement foundation. But the extra space is worth it as long as you maintain it well.

Basements can be weak against moisture damage, flooding, and mold:

Basement wall with slight water damage

Waterproof your basement and watch for signs of water damage.

Even with that, basements are still very durable. You won’t have to worry about fire or harsh weather damaging it.

Let’s look at another hollow home foundation.

2. Crawl Space Foundations Under Homes

It’s almost like you took a basement foundation and cut it in half.

Type of home foundation - crawl space
Picture by Jesus Rodriguez, size reduced – license

You can call it a crawl space because you have to crawl around when you’re inside it.

Cable guys have to work down there.

It’s not pleasant.

But, they do have many of the same benefits as basement foundations, plus some:

  • Extra storage space
  • Can cool your house during summer months
  • Can add resale value
  • Durable against water
  • Cheaper than basements

Repairs for wiring, piping, and the rest are easier too as they are more accessible.

You will want to seal and insulate it.

This should keep most of the water out. You don’t want a bunch of stagnant water piling up under your home.

The insulation is great for winter when it gets cold.

A crawl space just makes your house cooler.

3. Concrete Slab Home Foundations

You can probably tell what it is from the name.

Concrete slab foundation for homes
Picture by Peter Kapitola – license

Concrete slab foundations are a solid block of concrete.

They can be 4-8” thick, are reinforced with steel rods, and have drainage pipes running through them.

This is one of the most common home foundations for a few reasons:

  • Low cost
  • Quick formation time
  • Low maintenance
  • No airspace between the home and foundation

This means there’s no room for mold, termites, or other infestations.

While these are all great, concrete slab foundations do have their downsides.

Repairing the drainage pipes is difficult because they are embedded in concrete. There is also little protection against lots of water.

As long as there are no small floods your foundation should be safe.

Speaking of safe, don’t use the next home foundation type if you live in extremely windy areas.

4. Pier Foundations

You may not want this type of home foundation if you live near the beach.

You construct pier home foundations by forming small pillars of concrete.

Then you place them at strategic points along the perimeter and secure them using steel rods or wooden posts.

Connect them to the home and then you can experience the benefits they bring:

  • Strong and durable formation
  • Long-lasting
  • Great for where traditional foundations can’t be used
  • Easier to build
  • Less expensive for smaller structures

You will have to pay more for one of these if you have it for your whole house.

They are not great for areas with hurricane strength winds. The foundation isn’t set deep enough to withstand extremely strong winds.

Your pier home foundation also has a small crawl space underneath. This makes it easy for repairs to be made.

You will want to watch out for sagging and creaking floors.

Poor ventilation can also cause problems.

Overall, this foundation is better for smaller homes and buildings.

Choose Your Favorite Foundation For Your Home!

Now you only need to choose the foundation that best fits your needs. Whether it be storage space or waterproofing, you can find the perfect foundation for your future.

Speaking of the future, your Hawaiian home will need a septic tank by 2050.

You can learn more in our guide to Hawai’i and septic tanks >>