Pier Foundation:
What is it?


  • When should I consider a pier foundation?
  • Is it economical?
  • Is it common in my locale?

These are just a few of the questions you'll want to consider.




Pier foundations are similar to a deck built several feet above the ground. It is supported by pillars and posts or pilings. (The term posts is used to describe installation with the large end down. Pilings describes installing the post with the small end down.)

If you have ever visited Louisiana or another coastal state or area, you may have seen houses that appear to be on "stilts". These are pier built homes.

In many cases, however, you cannot see the piers from the outside of the home.

pier foundation, post and beam foundation



When Would a Pier - Built Foundation
Make Sense?


Piers are common foundations in wet and coastal areas.
We have friends who live 8 miles from the beach, and their home is built on piers. They also opted for a crawl space. You cannot tell from looking at the outside of the home that it was built upon piers.

Lifting the house well above the ground in a coastal region is wise to prevent possible flood damage.



Are Pier-Built Foundations Economical?


Piers are one of the more economical foundations to construct. However, there are numerous variables to consider. If you are narrowing down your choices, then the following questions are important for you to answer:

* Is pier building common in my area?

* Why or why not?

* Will my homeowner's insurance cover such a foundation? If so, will the premium be affordable?

* Have I consulted a structural engineer to see if a pier foundation is feasible for my house location?

* How deep would the footings need to go? How much will this add to the cost?

* What possible future costs might I incur with this choice?



Tip: Floor insulation is critical when building a home upon piers. Consider, too, how much sealing the floor and installing the insulation will cost you. You'll definitely want to protect your insulation and floor from wildlife and insects who might find it appealing to create their nest beneath your floorboards!



You may read information regarding pre-cast footings for use in pier-built foundations. There are numerous claims of the advantages of using a system such as this. Among them are:

~ Less labor and installation costs

~ No concern about weather or curing issues since footings are made in a controlled environment

~ Increased options for materials used


* Read as much as you can about the building of a pier foundation before making your final decision.

* Consider employing the "funnel approach" as described on building your dream green home page.

* Above all, enjoy the PROCESS on the way to
your finished dream green home PROJECT!


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