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What are Foundation Types?

The foundation is the support a house or building rests on. The foundation type is the material the foundation is made out of. Every house in Edmonton has some sort of foundation.

Real Estate Agent Explains Foundation Types

According to the Edmonton Real Estate Board, there are only 8 or 9 different kinds of foundations (depending on if you consider stone and brick as being the same or not). They are:

Foundation Type Abbreviation
B/S/B Brick/Stone/Block
BEAM Grade Beam
CNCRT Concrete
PILE Piling
SLAB Concrete Slab
WOOD Preserved Wood

The most common foundation type is certainly concrete. This is because most of Edmonton’s houses have basements, and concrete has been found to be the best way to make a nice dry basement considering the soil, weather and water table in Edmonton. Previously, houses were built with brick foundations, and for a little while, possibly wood foundations.

Brick foundations are only seen in homes built before the 1920s, whereas stone foundations aren’t likely to be found in Edmonton at all.

If the house in question is basementless, which is common in certain neighbourhoods, the house likely rests on grade beams, which are like long deep footings. Grade beams usually elevate the home above the ground leaving a crawl space underneath. Sometimes this crawlspace can be used for storage, depending on how large it is.

Here is a great example of how grade beams and footings look in foundation construction.

Some houses may have multiple foundation types because of additions and renovations. Sometimes additions are put up on pilings to keep them off the ground. Other times, a house will have an add-on that is at ground level on a concrete slab. If you’re trying to picture a concrete slab, think of how a garage sits at ground level – garages are built on concrete slabs with a curb or footing that keeps the wood for the walls off the ground.

Why Does It Matter?

Well, if you own your own home, you should know how to maintain your foundation and any issues it might have or be prone to. Each foundation type needs different maintenance, and each has different remedies for issues. There can be issues with concrete cracking in a basement for example whereas wood foundations may rot, and brick can collapse. Be sure to check out the foundation type next time you’re looking at real estate listings and know what your homes is built on – it’s important!

by +Alan F Macdonald REALTOR® | Copyright © –


Alan F Macdonald

Author Alan F Macdonald

Alan F Macdonald is a real estate agent with Maxwell Challenge Realty in Edmonton, Alberta.

More posts by Alan F Macdonald

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