HOW TO BUILD A CUSTOM HOME, Part 16: Traditional Poured Foundations v. Precast Wall Panel Systems

In this series, the professionals at the B.O.L.D. Company will take you through the process of building a custom home in the Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky area. From plan and lot selection, to mortgage approval, to the actual construction, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes each week for an inside look at a different part of the process.

This week, we look at the foundation of the home.

Before you begin the foundation itself, a pipe must be run from the hole to the sewer or septic system outside. Every following step must be careful of this pipe, as it will, ultimately, be the means of running sewage out of the house.

While there are many options available for foundations, from concrete slabs (no basement) to concrete block foundations, we generally use concrete basement foundations, which are the most widely used type of home foundation. Our customers typically select one of two options: traditional poured foundations or pre-cast foundation panels.

Either way, the foundation walls sit on footers, which consist of steel reinforcing rods surrounded by concrete. To protect these footers from the damaging effects of freezing and thawing, all footers must be covered by at least 30 inches of soil. Where the basement floor will not be deep enough (think of the shallow end of a walk-out basement), then freeze footers are installed — freeze footers are footers that are buried deeper than the basement floor (to reach the minimum soil coverage of 30 inches); and so, the foundation wall in that area will also run lower than the basement floor. For traditional foundations, the footers are poured separately; with pre-cast systems, the footers come attached to the panels.

For a traditional poured concrete foundation, the foundation walls are made of concrete that is poured into forms. Like the concrete footers on which they sit, the foundation walls have steel reinforcing rods embedded inside them for stability and strength. When the concrete is dry and hardening, the forms are removed.

However, for pre-cast panel foundation systems, the foundation walls are manufactured off-site and trucked to the job, then set with cranes. The panels come in segments which are bolted together. These panels are made of concrete and come fully insulated and waterproofed. Furthermore, they are drywall- ready, so finishing a pre-cast foundation system basement is a quicker job than finishing a traditional poured foundation basement. These systems come with waterproofing and structural warranties, as well.

All foundation walls must have anchor bolts or anchor straps on top of the wall — this is where the framing of the first floor walls will be secured.

For more information on the difference between traditional poured foundations and pre-cast wall panel systems, give B.O.L.D. a call today!

The B.O.L.D. Company is uniquely situated to help you through each and every step of the custom home building process, from financing and design/selections to construction and warranty service. We are available to build on your lot in Northern Kentucky, or let our licensed real estate agents help you find the perfect home site! Our in-house drafting and design team, together with our on-staff licensed Professional Engineer, can help you find or design the plan of your dreams! And of course, B.O.L.D. combines quality products and craftsmanship with unsurpassed customer service, so that the finished home is everything you expect and more. Find out why 400+ other new home customers have trusted The B.O.L.D. Company since 1986!

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