What are the pros and cons of a poured concrete basement versus a treated wood basement?
Im also a Builder, and a lot of my business is repairing damaged
Concrete foundations. The weight of the Concrete foundation, as
well as its failure to move during the frost heave cycles allows
for cracks and eventually failure. (EVERYONE WITH A CONCRETE
FOUNDATION HAS CRACKS IN IT, CONCRETE CRACKS, THATS WHY THERE ARE
CONTROL JOINTS EVERY FOUR FEET IN SIDEWALKS IS TO KEEP THE CRACK
STRAIGHT) Lateley I have been building only PWF (Permanent Wood
Foundations). SIDEBAR:: It is a huge misconception that wood
foundations don't perform in wet areas. There original intent was
for areas that were too wet for building. The wood foundations work
like a boat (which if you remember were also all wood at one
time):: There is no question about the engineering of PWF's, only
about the longevity. I've heard everything from "the guy at the
wood treating facility might forget to mix the chemicals right, so
the wood wont last" That's like saying that the concrete driver
might get caught in traffic and hose down the crete to make it last
longer. WATER DOES NOT ROT WOOD!! I'll repeat WATER DOES NOT ROT
WOOD!! a fungus that thrives in wet wood causes rot. However, if
every wood cell is masked with copper cells, from the pressure
treating process, the fungus wont think twice about eating it.
Of Course everything is based on quality, there are cases where
inexperienced contractors build a poorly designed wood foundation
(Foundation Grade Lumber with a PWF stamp must be used), but if
built properly, wood foundations will last 100's of years. They are
warmer, LESS likely to leak then any concrete or block foundation,
ready to be finished, and a breeze to remodel, and in the RARE
instance that a poorly built PWF Fails, very easy to repair
compared to CONCRETE.
Remember that most of the eastern coastal towns are built on
wood foundations, not to mention the 200 year old logs that are
being harvested from the bottom of lake Michigan.
Most older builders will never give wood foundations a chance.
Many of them still wont use O.S.B, or they still put plastic on
interiors of walls under the drywall, and disregard several
technological advances in the field of construction.
Research for yourself. There are over 500,000 PWF's in the