Concrete vs. Wood Foundations

When building a home in Tennessee, you need to decide between a wood foundation or a custom concrete foundation. Poured concrete foundations are often the most popular option, but that does not entirely rule out a completely wood or wood/concrete hybrid foundation. Here are six elements to consider when choosing a foundation and how each type measures up to that element to help you understand the differences:

  • Installation costs: Of the two options, concrete is less expensive to install. Concrete is an affordable material, and while wood is also affordable, its prices fluctuate frequently. You will likely pay more for wood materials than concrete any day, and you will not gain the other advantages of concrete.
  • Strength: If you prefer a concrete foundation because it seems stronger to you, your instinct is correct! Concrete foundations are stronger than wood ones, and the material offers a stable footprint to build your home. It is doubtful that you will ever need to replace it, although you may have to repair cracks occasionally. Wood foundations require monitoring and repair, especially after homes face heavy rainfall, storms or other perils.
  • Ease of home repairs: Wood foundations make it easier to complete home repairs. It’s more difficult to find water leaks with a concrete foundation when precipitation and groundwater overwhelm your home. Concrete foundations also make it more challenging to repair wiring and plumbing, so you can expect that work to take longer and cost more if you install a poured concrete foundation in Tennessee.
  • Insulation: Concrete offers no insulation, so if you plan to finish a basement in a home with a concrete foundation, expect to take more steps to make that space cozy. Your heating and cooling costs are likely to be higher with concrete than if you use wood. However, you can combine the best of both worlds by pouring a concrete foundation and keeping a wood frame. That allows you to enjoy the strength of concrete while also gaining needed insulation.
  • Pests: Termites love to feast on all wood, including your foundation. You can offset this by using a treated wood, although that is not an anti-termite guarantee. The only pest-proof material for foundations is concrete. If the wood did not dry well during installation, trapped moisture leads to rot and fungus, in addition to termites. Be aware of this mistake if you decide to mix wood and concrete—even though concrete is rot-, mold- and termite-proof, wood sections can still be vulnerable.
  • Ease of installation: Wood foundations are easy to install. You do not have the same demands of equipment or workers as you do with concrete. In some cases, installing a wood foundation takes less time than the process of mixing and pouring concrete and then waiting for it to dry.

Wood and concrete foundations each offer advantages, but you are better off choosing a concrete foundation in most cases. Warrior Precast LLC is your precast concrete expert in Tennessee. Our services include poured concrete foundations for homes, businesses and industrial sites. Call us today to schedule an estimate for a custom concrete foundation.

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