Types of Basement Construction

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Types of Basement Construction
Concrete forms is just one way to build a basement. (housing construction site image by Yali Shi from Fotolia.com)

There are many ways to design and construct a basement. Basements can be built from concrete or wood in several different configurations. If you are interested in building a basement, it is a good idea to learn the different types of basement designs to decide which will work best for your project.

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Poured Concrete Basements

Poured concrete basements are the most popular form of basement construction. This method involves first building a form at the site of construction, then pouring wet concrete into the form. The most significant benefits of this kind of basement are durability, resistance to weather and safety from fire hazards. How the concrete is mixed will affect the overall quality of the basement.

Concrete Slab Basements

Concrete slab basements are not custom made, but are instead pre-prepared and then taken to the construction site and installed. Usually, large cranes are required in order to place the slabs in their proper places. Concrete slabs are poured and hardened in controlled conditions, meaning that it may be stronger and more durable than poured concrete basements. However, since the basement will be made of a series of connected slabs, the spaces between sections of concrete must be properly treated. Also, since heavy machinery is required, you may have to hire a third party to move the slabs.

Floating Basements

Floating basements are useful in environments with soil that is likely to shift. Instead of being directly connected to the floor, these basements are connected to the floor joints of the house above them. Therefore, should the basement's floor shift, the walls will be unaffected. This can increase the lifetime of a house.

Wood Foundations

Wood foundations are made from treated lumber. Advantages of building a basement foundation out of wood include the fact that it is unnecessary to hire a contractor to pour the concrete, construction is possible regardless of weather, the foundation is less likely to crack, and the wood is easier to both insulate and finish.

Concrete Block Basements

Basements can also be built from concrete blocks, also called breeze blocks. These basements are built by stacking pre-made concrete bricks instead of pouring concrete. This design requires no formwork and is as strong and durable as other types of concrete basements.

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