I would like some input on my idea to save some money on a house by eliminating the basement and build on only the pilings and beams to form the foundation system.
I figure 12" concrete pilings every 8 feet used with beams of 2x10's tripled, glued and screwed.
Does that sound reasonable?
Here in Canada, 99% of homes are built with basements for this very reason.
If you live on a ranch in southern Texas, then having a basement is not so compelling.
My friend built an addition onto his house using piers and spent a large amount of money closing it in and had no extra space to show for it!
Many houses are built without basements - moreso depending on where you live. I grew up in Indiana where basements were common. I have lived most of my adult life in southern states, where basements are uncommon. Water table issues (when I lived in New Orleans for example) can make doing a basement difficult. Rocky ground can also be a factor.
Pilings and/or a perimeter foundation wall, creating a crawl space is one way to go. A monolithic concrete slab is popular in many areas (here in SoCal for example). You have to take into consideration how deep you have to go to get under the frost line. Sometimes a basement is difficult due to rocky ground. Another option is to consider a partial rather than a full basement.
As was mentioned, a basement can be relatively inexpensive space. It can provide a good place for mechanicals to be installed, living space, utility room, etc.
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