The Pros and Cons of Wood Foundations The Pros and Cons of Wood Foundations
Wood foundations save material costs for new home construction, which makes it a huge consideration when deciding to use wood instead of concrete for the foundation.
Pros of Using Wood in Foundation
The pros of a wood foundation include that the material is sustainable and can be reused in other homes when you decide to tear the home down to build another. It also reduces the manufacturing and production cost involved with mixing concrete to build your home’s foundation.
Cost of Wood Versus Concrete
Another pro of wood foundations is that the cost of wood is less than the cost for using concrete. You can realize savings of up to several dollars a square foot of foundation laid, up to $15,000. The savings can be significant when considering the overall cost of the building.
Cons of Using Wood in Foundation
The cons of using wood includes the possibility that over time, the wood will rot, causing the foundation to fail. This failure will result in tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs to fix or replace the wood foundation.
If you are in an area of the country that is subject to insect infestation such as termites or other insects that eat wood, you will find that using wood may not be a smart choice. Unless the wood is expertly treated to prevent infestation, you will find that wood is an inviting buffet to wood-eating insects.
Water Damage to Wood Foundations
Wood foundations are more susceptible to water damage over time than concrete foundations. Water can penetrate wood more easily than concrete; eventually it will cause the wood to become water logged and splinter. As the wood weakens, planks will need to be replaced to prevent the entire foundation from failing.
Water damage is an important consideration when the home is located in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognized flood zone that is subject to constant flooding problems.
Whether you choose to use wood or concrete in your home’s foundation is your personal preference. Do not let cost alone determine the advisability of one building material over the other. Also consider the affects of environment and other conditions over time on the foundation, as well as how these conditions will affect the ability of your foundation to stay intact and work as designed.