Is Pier and Beam Obsolete?

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by TxBuilder, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Mar 28, 2012 #1
    We are looking at a house built in 1991 but it has a pier and beam foundation.

    Is pier and beam looked down upon nowadays? Is it seen as an increasingly obsolete foundation method?
     
  2. Mar 28, 2012 #2

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

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    Depends on where you are and what the house plan/type is. Obsolescence is not a factor.

    Also climate is a major factor since a post and beam is a costly disaster where the frost depth is 3' to 5', where a basement is a big benefit.

    Dick
     
  3. Mar 28, 2012 #3
    This is in Texas on top of solid rock.

    I have not seen a new construction IE anything past the 80's that has a pier and beam. This has been the first and kind of stumped as to why they did it and if it decreases a homes worth or it's really a mute point.
     
  4. Mar 28, 2012 #4

    inspectorD

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    Depends on the material. If it is concrete, and you have a major termite problem in your area, it may be a blessing.
    What is the access like underneath? Costs for repairs go up for inaccessibility.
    Freeze issues?
    Flooding problems?
    I would find what other appraisals are going for in a similair home with basements or slab to get a realistic number.
     
  5. Mar 29, 2012 #5
    It's all concrete and the house shows no sign of movement being 21 years old.

    Termites are a problem in this year and there is a large door to access the foundation.

    This is just the first "new" construction I've seen with pier and beam locally.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2012 #6

    BridgeMan

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    Builder probably did it to save a few bucks. More likely than not a spec home.
     
  7. Mar 31, 2012 #7

    nealtw

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    Is it on a flood plain? Isn,t that what they build in the 9th ward in New Orleans?
     
  8. Apr 1, 2012 #8

    mudmixer

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    In the north ward of NO, you could not call the things under the house "piers" because of the level of construction and lack of controls or inspection. It is all a part of the old politics of Parishes and wards and the desire to build anything to get more voters.

    Dick
     
  9. Apr 2, 2012 #9

    nealtw

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    Dick: I ment the new houses.
     
  10. Apr 2, 2012 #10

    mudmixer

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    I was referring the the old homes and practices that I saw while inspection for damage and repair after Katrina.

    Because of the soil conditions, some homes with slabs on piling settled (6" more on one side than the other) and had gaping holes underneath. On one a boy said it was good the soil went down since crawling underneath the slab was easier than before Katrina when he went in to run new cable.

    One thing about piers, is that they put a relatively concentrated load on a much smaller area and that is bad if the soil is not adequate. If one pier settles, that pier and adjacent floor can go down and the excess loads are transferred to adjacent piers.

    Dick
     
  11. Apr 2, 2012 #11
    I was told that pier and beam was not always the inexpensive route, that in some cases pier and beam was equal or more then a slab.

    Not true?
     
  12. Apr 4, 2012 #12
    I had a foundation inspector come out today and he gave it two thumbs up. He said modern pier and beam is more expensive then slab and really more desired because of how easy it is to fix foundation issues.

    Learned something new.
     

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