Not much thought and consideration is given to foundations for porches and patios yet they play a critical role in determining the stability and efficiency of the entire structure. Even though foundations are not visible, their importance is understated.
Chances are high the problem source could be the foundation if a house porch looks weak or is in dire need of repairs. A good foundation should be able to comfortably support the weight of the entire porch or patio.
A poorly constructed foundation can be a major cause of many future structural problems. To get things right from the onset, it is critical to select the right foundation. Foundations for porches and patios are similar to those used for main homes.
The experts from Granite Foundation Repair, a professional foundation repair company in Dallas, shared some of their best advices for porches and patios foundations.
Before determining how to build your porch, including choosing the type of foundation, you need to consider the following factors:
You will need to consider the geographical conditions of where you live. Do you live in an area with unstable soil and water conditions? Do you live in an area with frost? Areas with unstable soils require reinforced concrete, thicker walls, and deep porch footings.
The type of foundation selected and building methodology should depend on the weight of the porch. The foundation you use should be capable of supporting the porch’s weight, furniture, as well as the occupants. A deck that collapses when people are on it is not something you will want.
The Nature of the Slope
The construction of a foundation is determined by the nature of the slope on which the construction is to be carried out. Irrespective of whether it is a steep slope, slightly sloped or on a flat area, having a good foundation is important. Even if you have a patio porch, you need a stable slab.
Are you wondering what is the best foundation type for your porch or patio? In this article, let’s go over the best and main types of foundations that will work well for your structure.
- Concrete and Pier Foundations
This foundation usually consists of piers (poured concrete) or concrete blocks that are placed on top of footings also known as concrete pads. In most cases, the concrete is poured as one unit with wooden posts anchored in the piers in order to offer support to the beams that are attached to the posts.
The function of the footing is to hold the weight of the porch onto the soil. The placement of the footings depends on your location. It also must be sufficient and carefully spaced according to the recommended minimum distances in order to spread the weight evenly. You shouldn’t be worried about the placement of footings as your local building codes will provide the requirements for footings in your locality.
Porches are ideally meant to support weight and therefore, when constructing the foundation, you must adhere to your local building codes. This ensures that your porch is compliant and safe to use. It’s also easier to maintain its structural integrity for an extended period of time.
Building footings are constructed in accordance with the anticipated total weight they will carry. For instance, if you plan to install heavy features such as a stone fireplace or a hot tub, you need to address these special provisions with your engineer or codes department. This enables you to know how to correctly pour and space the footings.
- Front Porch Slab Foundations
These foundations usually consist of concrete that is poured over a base material such as stone or gravel. Porch slab foundations aren’t restricted to the ground level. You have the option to pour concrete slabs at different heights and choose varied finishing options. If you’re building a porch just a few feet off the ground, the form is built using concrete blocks and then filled with stone up to four inches and the concrete is poured on the top.
- Perimeter Foundations
Perimeter foundations have a continuous footing of poured concrete whose purpose is to provide support to foundations walls. These walls hold the structure in the right position. Perimeter foundations are mostly used in areas with steep slopes or where there is a risk of water compromising the foundation. This foundation helps to displace the load, paving way for a stable and safe porch.
These are the most often used foundation types for porches/patios. The selection of the best foundation is based on a wide variety of factors. Don’t forget to abide by your local building codes when selecting your foundation. It will not only avoid you getting into trouble with the law but will also ensure you have a properly constructed porch.