Like most people..you might think I’m crazy by mentioning a wood foundation as an option to concrete. Wood foundations started to really catch on in central Saskatchewan. This Province sees some of the most brutal changes in weather. I know..I grew up there.
Truthfully though..I only build concrete basements. But..why would I mention a wood as an option. Because they actually work. I know you all know this but let me explain. Most of the crucial work is done on the outside surface of the wood foundation. By that I mean..sealant, moisture repelling and thoughtful backfilling.
Wood used by a Foundation Contractor is pressure-infused with chemicals to resist infestation and decay, and the process is so effective that manufacturers are now recommending treated plywood and lumber as an alternate material for crawl space, basement, and stem wall grade beams. Not to mention that wood foundations are easier to insulate and finish on the interior of the basement.
Some theories suggest that a concrete footing isn’t necessary, but you would have a hard time convincing this old dog that. I firmly believe that a proper concrete footings are the basis for a solid and long lasting foundation start.
The framing members are usually 2×8 treated material sheeted with 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch treated plywood. I would never use anything less than 3/4 treated ply and would probably use a 2×10 or 2×12 framing stud. This allows the contractor to install thicker and a higher R value insulation. This is where a wood foundation stands superior to a concrete one.
The wood will not crack over time thus eliminating any moisture leaks. More insulation provides for a warmer basement…this is a huge bonus in a cold environment. And finally my favorite…the finish work and installation of additional framing can be directly nailed to the foundation. Concrete on the other hand needs to be strapped, drilled or the use of a powder actuated device is need to nail framing directly to the concrete.
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