How much does a foundation cost ?

Cost estimates for foundations.

The quality of a house largely depends on the strong foundation upon which it’s built. When thinking of building a house, the foundation must be carefully planned and executed. You have to engage professional house contractors in the building process.

House foundations
are of various kinds but they are mainly grouped into three namely slab, basement and raised perimeter. Some houses do have a combination of the three types while some do have only two. It’s very important to go for appropriate foundation type that can suit the kind of house you want to build. Let’s take a look at the various foundations and their costs estimates.

Slab foundation.

Slab foundation usually consists of concrete stemwall and a perimeter footing. It has a 4 inch slab of concrete placed on top of the stemwall and footings within the perimeter area. The concrete slab layer can be poured alongside with the footings or it can as well be poured later on. The slab area is usually laid with a compacted base layer of gravel or rock.

Slab foundation requires form materials and excavation process. The exaction cost is around $0.5 to $1.0 per square foot.

The cost of constructing simple slab foundation is around $6.00 to $10.00 per square foot including the materials and labor. For complicated slab, the cost is around $15 to $20 per square foot.

Raised perimeter foundation.

Raised perimeter foundation consists of a perimeter footing and a concrete stemwall upon which the walls and the floors are erected.   The stemwall and the footings can be stepped up to permit the use of under -floor area and the sloping lot. A wood wall can be constructed on the stemwall once it’s above the ground to a certain level.

Raised Perimeter foundation involves form materials and excavation processes such as light grading, piers holes and footing trenches. The excavation cost is $1.0 to $2.0 per square foot.

The cost of materials and labor for a simple raised perimeter foundation is around $10.00 -$15 per square foot.

Other items to be considered for raised perimeter foundation include site drainage, sidewalks, exterior stair landing, driveway retaining walls, perimeter insulation and so on.

Basement foundation.

Basement foundation is mainly of two kinds namely daylight basement and enclosed basement. Daylight basement normally has one or more outside walls at the ground level. Its floor is built like a slab while the retaining portion is built like a basement. The enclosed basement is very similar to slab foundation except that its stemwalls extend higher as may be required for retaining the soil.

Basement foundations of all kinds require form materials and excavation processes.  The excavation will involve basement cavity, pier holes, grading and footing trenched. The excavation cost is around $5-10 per square foot.

The cost for materials and labor is around $10.00 - $15 per square foot. This may also include excavation.

Other items to be considered for basement foundation include basement cavity, site drainage, window well placement, in-slab ductwork and piping, sidewalks, walls and so on.

Again, basement foundation can be finished with veneers and sidings. Wood framed walls, stucco, decorative brick and rocks can also be used. Here are some of their prices :
  • Rock Veneer  like Stucco Stonetm costs around $10 to $10 per square foot including labor and materials.
  • Real stone costs around $20 to $30 per square foot with labor and materials.

Factors that affect foundation costs.

Foundations costs can be affected by some factors. In the first place, the type of house you’re building matters a lot. This determines the kind of foundation and materials to be used. If you’re building a 2-storey building for instance, the foundation cost will be higher since it’s going to be a little deeper than when you’re building a simple ground floor house.

Again, the type of ground where the house will be built also matters. You may have to engage a Geotechnical engineer to check the ground before you commence the foundation. This will help you know the right materials to go for.

Finally, the building contractor you engage also matters. A reliable contractor can give you the accurate price estimates that tally with the national price standards.
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