Whether you’re building an ADU, a residential home, or a commercial property, a durable and properly-built foundation is essential for the best results.

But what type of foundation is the right option? Should you pick a post tension (PT) slab or a pier and beam foundation? What’s the difference? Find out the basics and pros and cons of both of these basic foundation types now.


Post Tension Slab Foundations Overview, Pros & Cons

A Post Tension (PT) slab foundation consists of a poured concrete slab that covers the entire first floor. Built into this slab are steel cables, which are stretched to provide tension, hence the name. The combination of cables and concrete creates a very strong foundation.

PT slabs have a number of advantages. They’re quicker to build compared to pier and beam foundations, do not require a crawl space, and are usually cheaper. There’s also usually less of a need to bring in more soil for the job.

However, it’s harder to access electrical and plumbing utilities due to the lack of a crawl space, and heating duct work must be located higher up on the walls, rather than below the floor, which can make proper heating more of a challenge – particularly in homes with high ceilings.


Pier And Beam Foundation Overview, Pros & Cons

A pier and beam foundation consists of concrete piers that are placed deep within the soil. Beams are laid across these piers, carrying the weight of the house. The design of this foundation means the home will be higher than the street level, and it includes a crawl space for electrical equipment, plumbing, and other utilities.

Pier and beam foundations have the advantage of being more durable, since the soil can shift slightly without affecting the deeply-sunk piers. A crawl space makes renovations and utility work easier, and since the home is slightly raised from the street, you get more privacy.

However, this type of foundation requires proper drainage to avoid standing water under the home, and the floor tends to be a bit more squeaky. It’s also usually more expensive since it’s more complex and involves more lumber, concrete, and labor.


What’s Better For Your Home? Ask Homestar Building Performance!

Both pier and beam foundations and post tension slab foundations have unique advantages and drawbacks – there’s no “right” choice. Working with an experienced contractor is the best way to choose the right foundation for your building project. So don’t wait. Get in touch with Homestar Building Performance today to get the expert advice you need in Sonoma County, CA.