Skip to main content

What Is A Crawl Space Foundation?

By May 20, 2023Foundation
Block and beam crawl space foundation.

Purchasing a home is a huge decision. Understanding how the home is structured is also important. Depending on where you live, might determine the type of foundation that your home has. In some cases, you might even have a basement that is responsible for maintaining the structure of your home. Choosing a home with a crawl space instead of a home with a concrete foundation is also a big decision. What is a crawl space foundation? Great for building on soils that are considered stable. Footings are poured and the home is elevated.

Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding a crawl space foundation.

Crawl Space Foundation Versus Other Home Foundations?

Crawl space foundations are typically found in warmer climates. When the home’s foundation does not need to deal with a frost line. In northern homes, you often see basement foundations that extend beyond the frost line in the ground. Additionally, crawl space foundations were older period builds. Back then, they didn’t have access to a lot of materials, so this was the best solution for stabilizing a home. Also, in some cases, crawl space foundations are used as storage spaces, but not living spaces.

What Are The Types Of Crawl Space Foundations?

Believe it or not, there are two types of crawl space foundations. Let’s take a look below at what those are.

  • Block and base – This type of crawl space foundation is just as it sounds. Blocks are stacked up as piers around the base of the home. Also, you might see stone, brick, or wood beams as the supports of the home. Leaving open space or no cosmetic skirting around the outskirts of the home.
  • Pier and beam – This type of crawl space foundation involves blocks or brick being installed into the ground and runs all around the perimeter of the home. It has vents to keep the airflow under the home free from moisture buildup.
Pier and beam crawl space foundation.

What Are The Pros and Cons?

Just like any project, there are pros and cons to the project at hand. Be sure to study the pros and cons of a crawl space foundation before getting invested in one. Let’s take a look below at what those pros and cons are.

Pros of Crawl Space Foundations

Having more pros is always better than having more cons. Here are the pros of a crawl space foundation.

  • It will be easier to build an addition to the home.
  • The home is elevated and there is less chance of flooding.
  • The wood materials used to build the floor and foundation are gentler on the homeowner.
  • It will be easier access to the plumbing and electrical system underneath the home.
  • Usually, it is cheaper to level the house and repair foundation damage.

Cons of Crawl Space Foundations

Having more cons than pros in a project is usually not a good sign. Let’s take a look at the cons of a crawl space foundation.

  • As the soil moves and winds pick up, the structure of the home is more likely to shift.
  • The look of the foundation is not as desirable.
  • Typically, they require a lot of regular maintenance.
  • Leaks in your plumbing are more likely to go unnoticed as the plumbing runs through the crawl space.
  • More likely to experience mold and mildew growth due to poor drainage.
  • Colder climates or areas of extreme sloping are not ideal for crawl space foundations.

How Much Do They Cost?

Crawls space foundations can be fairly expensive. The national average for a crawl space foundation is $13 per square foot. Consequently, this means that if your home is 1,000 square feet, your cost of installation is $13,000. Keep in mind that the cost for a slab foundation is around $4 per square foot. This is one reason why many builders will pour slab concrete foundations.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about crawl space foundations, let’s take a look at a few other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is drying out the crawl space. To do this, you will need wet vac, dehumidifier, drainage system, and vapor barrier.

Another area is cleaning the crawl space. Unfortunately, this area can become dirty very fast! It will be covered with debris, mold, pests, and leaks. You may need to use a special vacuum cleaner, possibly removing a vapor barrier as well as encapsulating the crawl space to lower the humidity.

Lastly, you may wonder when a foundation is beyond repair. There are horizontal cracks. It is important to make sure everything is fine in the foundation so you have a home that is structurally sound and doesn’t need repairs.

Open crawl space foundation with steel beams and block.

When Do I Call A Professional?

When dealing with a homes foundation it is important to keep an eye on cracks and crevices as well as any other structural issues that might arise. Additionally, calling on your local home inspection team can ensure that you are made aware of any damages to the foundation of the home. They can evaluate the foundation of your home and recommend a reputable professional contractor to make the necessary repairs.


If you need foundation repairs you will want to hire a professionally licensed building contractor and a structural engineer. Also, before any reconstruction or rebuild is attempted, you will want a structural engineer to carve out a plan. Additionally, you will want to call on your local home inspection team. They can inspect the entire structure of the home and recommend reputable contractors. Call on Boggs Inspection Services can check your foundation during a home inspection in the Olympia, Washington area.

Close Menu