Commercial foundations differ from residential ones in one main area—commercial foundations must support heavier loads, and this changes their construction. There are several different types of building foundations used in the Lone Star state, and each one has its best uses.

6 Different Types of Commercial Foundations for Texas Buildings

If you are a builder, construction worker, or own a commercial business, chances are you are familiar with at least one type of these foundations. Here’s what you should know about the types of building foundations.

Slab-on-Grade Foundations

This is one of the more cost-effective types of commercial foundations and one of the most commonly used. It consists of a thick concrete base poured directly onto the soil. It is most often used in warmer climates where the ground is less likely to freeze. In addition, since it is a solid piece of concrete, slab-on-grade foundations are not prone to infestations from insects, rodents, and other pests.

slab on grade foundation

Mat Foundations

Mat or raft foundations use a single poured slab to support the building’s load. It is similar to a slab-on-grade foundation, with one exception. To stabilize the structure’s upper levels, columns are inserted into the slab. It ensures the foundation is supporting the building, including any upper stories. This type of foundation works best in areas where the soil cannot support the full load.

Pier and Beam Foundations

Pier and beam foundations are typically more expensive to install, but the added cost is worth it in areas prone to high winds or loose, shifting soil. Some residential buildings also use a type of pier and beam foundation, but there are some differences with the commercial application.

Unlike pile foundations, pier and beam ones don’t require drilling deep into the rocky soil level. Instead, it uses several piers to evenly distribute the structure’s weight. The piers sit on rectangular-shaped footings, which are only sunk a few feet into the soil.

The combination of piers and footings gives the foundation added stability, giving the building protection against wind and soil shifts. It is also one of the most reliable building foundations, which helps explain the higher price.

Strip Foundation

A strip foundation, or spread footing, has a wide base for weight dispersal over a larger area, providing the building with more stability. This type of building foundation supports columns and individual walls, along with bridge piers where the load-bearing layer of soil is 10-feet below the surface.

strip foundation

It’s important to note that strip foundation isn’t the best choice in areas where water is likely to flow over the load-bearing layer of soil. It can weaken the base, resulting in structural instability.

Individual Footing

This type of shallow foundation is used in areas with shallow soil and can be applied at depths as low as 3 feet. Individual footing most often uses a single column that supports the building’s load instead of the foundation.

Individual footings can be square or rectangle. It depends on the size and shape of the structure, along with the construction area. The type of soil also plays a role in determining the column’s size. It depends on the load-bearing ability of the soil layers.

Combined Footing

A combined footing is another type of shallow foundation. When the soil layer is shallow—at depths of around 3 feet—open or spread footings are used to provide support. This type of foundation uses multiple columns that form a rectangle.

Larger buildings on shallow ground will want to use combined footing. The multiple columns ensure the load is evenly distributed across the foundation for maximum stability.

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URETEK Gulf Coast Offers Commercial Foundation Repair Services in Houston, TX

The Houston and the surrounding communities can boast all types of soil, from loose sand to hard-packed clay, and not every type of building foundation works in every situation.

Commercial buildings require plenty of support due to their large and heavy size. Knowing which type of foundation to use is paramount for the success of any construction project, and the experts at URETEK are here to help.

Whether you have questions, need advice, or have a commercial foundation in need of repair, we can help. Contact URETEK today and see how we can help you with your foundation needs.