Concrete was traditionally used for foundations but as concrete became more expensive, alternative methods of creating a home foundation were developed. Today, it is possible to use a number of different building materials in order to create the foundation for a home.
Concrete has long been an option as a material used to pour the foundation for a home. Either concrete walls are poured to form a basement after a hole is dug into the ground or concrete is simply poured into a slab above the ground. Traditionally, slab material concrete foundations work best in warmer climates. Using a slab foundation rather than poured concrete in a basement also tends to be more cost effective.
Wood is a popular alternative choice to use in place of concrete for two reasons. First, wood is plentiful and second, wood is relatively inexpensive. Wood is also easier to use to build foundation because it can be prefabricated in a shop and then brought to the building site to be used. All that must be done at the job site is putting the panels together and fastening them so that they are stable. This saves time on the building site and allows the houses to get built faster.
Steel is another material that can be used to construct the foundation of a home. However, steel still is more commonly used for the foundation of larger buildings on the commercial and industrial level. Like wood, steel is manufactured and prefabricated into premeasured panels in a shop. The panels can then be transported to the job site and used to construct the foundation. This saves time at the actual job site and allows for quicker construction. Steel is relatively cheap in comparison with concrete as well, especially for larger buildings that need larger foundations.
Brick is another building material that can be used to construct a stable foundation for a home or other type of building. Brick is similar to concrete. The only potential disadvantage to brick is that the builder must know what they are doing to ensure the foundation made of brick will last for many years without crumbling, cracking or leaking.