What’s better: A poured foundation or block? How about – neither? Try post frame footing design!
Even though my lovely bride and I are now living 98% of the time on the eastern border of South Dakota, I still read the online version of my formerly local newspaper – The Spokesman Review, from Spokane, Washington. This morning’s edition (November 12, 2016) had an article written by Tribune Content Agency columnist Tim Carter titled, “What’s better: A poured foundation or block?” The article can be read in its entirety at: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/nov/12/whats-better-a-poured-foundation-or-block/
The gist of Tim’s article is the strength of either a poured concrete or a block foundation comes from the judicious and frequent use of steel rebar (learn more about rebar here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/rebar/).
Tim’s article does ponder somewhat the cost of the two choices presented. Whether the foundation is blocks or poured concrete, neither is for the faint of heart, or light of pocketbook. I’ve elaborated at length on this very subject, as opposed to a far less expensive alternative – post frame here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/.
When it comes down to foundation costs and what choice to pick, the vast majority of potential building owners are just not aware of post frame footing as being an alternative.
Why is this?
Several reasons – the largest of which is lack of education to the general public, building officials and building contractors about post frame footing design.
The National Frame Building Association (NFBA) has long been the advocate for educating the public as to the Code conformance of post frame construction. This story was published in Frame Building News magazine and is quite appropriate to this subject: https://www.nfba.org/uploads/Advantage_-_Its_Code_Conforming.pdf
To give a perspective on why the message of the NFBA is lost in the shuffle, according to the United States Census Bureau, 2013 construction of all buildings in the U.S. was roughly $930 Billion. The post frame industry was somewhere around $7 billion (or under one percent).
Considering a new low-rise building (in most cases three or fewer stories and a wall height of 50 feet or less) in your future? Give a look at post frame construction – it could very well save you both money and time, while offering some unique design features and advantages!