The Ultimate Guide on Pier & Beam Foundation for your House

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No Knoxville homeowner wants to expend his/her efforts on the house’s repairs and alterations. Yet, we can see a lot of demand for foundation repair in Knoxville. Why?

A simple reason is the wrongful installation of the foundation system. Not all houses need a slab foundation. Likewise, crawl space encapsulation is not the solution for an innate foundation issue. 

Understanding the types of foundation systems available and the conditions they are best suited for, you can make an informed decision. 

On a similar line, let us go through a popular foundation — the pier and beam foundation. 

This articulation shall act as a comprehensive guide for any homeowner looking to install a pier and beam foundation to their house.

What is a pier and beam foundation?

Back in the 1960s, the pier and beam foundation was the only stable option available for house owners. Before the advancements in concrete pouring, this foundation type was the most popular. 

Now, despite having cheaper alternatives, pier and beam foundation is still the best for certain conditions. For any region experiencing heavy rainfall, a pier and beam foundation is the ideal solution. 

Likewise, this foundation system is often recommended for houses in areas that are prone to flooding.

How to install a pier and beam foundation?

Understanding the soil type and the surrounding conditions is a top priority in the installation of the pier and beam foundation. This helps in designing a tailored framework for the installation.

  • First, dig holes in the ground according to the design. 
  • Then, a mixture of gravel and tamp is to be poured. 
  • Place tubes in the holes and fill them with concrete.
  • Let the concrete cure completely.
  • Wooden beams are bolted in to connect the basement with the house’s floor.

Following these steps, a pier and beam foundation is installed. The piers elevate the house off the ground — creating a crawlspace. This can be further used for basement foundation repair, plumbing, wiring, etc.

Benefits of a pier and beam foundation

  • Protection from flooding

No amount of water underneath can enter the house nor derail the foundation. This is due to the elevation of the house by the piers. 

This protection can be further strengthened by crawl space encapsulation. This seals the entire foundation and creates an airtight barrier.

  • Temperature control

The crawl space provides for proper ventilation of the house. With this ventilation, space is saved from unnecessary heat accumulation. This reduces the floating of heat into the house through the floors. 

Likewise, if you are living in a cold area, investing in insulating the crawl space is advisable. It keeps the house warm whilst reducing energy costs.

  • Sturdiness

The stability of a pier and beam foundation is unparalleled. The use of concrete adds to the sturdiness of the foundation. Furthermore, to increase the stability, pushpin pier systems can be added. By reinforcing hollow pipes into the foundation, the overall lateral stability is enhanced. 

Apart from these three advantages, this system reduces the owner’s maintenance efforts. Services like crawl space repair are rarely needed. Even if needed, the easy accessibility makes the repair a short affair. By not putting off foundation repairs, the owner enjoys the complete benefits.   

Drawbacks of a pier and beam foundation

  • Expensive process

The installation of a pier and beam foundation itself is an expensive process. It requires the diligence of experts to build a quality foundation. Furthermore, if the owner would like to further the stability, services like I-Beam installation and encapsulation are needed. This adds to the costs of the foundation. 

  • Pests

Mold, mildew, pests, and other organisms love two things. One is space and another is moisture. With this foundation type, the crawl space can lead to the deterioration of structural integrity.

Unless the owner invests in basement waterproofing, the accumulation of moisture happens. This creates an ideal breeding ground for pests. So, know more about exterior and interior waterproofing and get rid of these infestations.

Are these two drawbacks worthy enough to strike out the utility of a pier and beam foundation? A resounding no. 

This foundation type strives for its longevity and reduced need for maintenance. Factoring them in, the investments are worth every dollar. 

Moving on, When should you consider installing a pier and beam foundation?

This foundation system works effectively for all houses. However, considering the alternatives, this may or may not be the ideal choice. 

Yet, there are certain circumstances under which a pier and beam foundation is the ultimate choice. 

  • Unstable soil conditions

Most foundation systems react adversely to any movement in the soil. Meanwhile, expansion and contraction of soil are common in few areas and under certain weather conditions.

For houses with unstable soils beneath them, a pier and beam foundation is tailor-made. They are flexible enough to accommodate the movement, yet maintain structural stability.

  • Uneven surfaces

Similarly, houses built on uneven surfaces need a robust foundation system. Compared to others, a pier and beam foundation is the sturdiest option. 

Experts can alter the height of the piers and beams to fabricate an even surface.

  • Flood-prone areas

Other foundations keep the floor intact with the foundation. Though this is structurally sound, it awaits disaster during heavy rains or floods. By elevating the house off the surface, a pier and beam foundation solves this issue.

Using this comprehensive guide, we hope homeowners can make an informed decision. A pier and beam foundation lasts for long periods and needs less maintenance. This means fewer calls for foundation repair in Knoxville.


All the benefits of a pier and beam foundation can be availed only with a quality installation. Remember that an inferior installation spells doom for both your foundation and your wallet.

Also, installing a pier and beam foundation requires experienced professionals. Rightly so, we at Guardian Foundation repair in Knoxville are a firm with thoroughbred professionals. With years of experience, we understand the diligence required for a quality foundation installation. 

Likewise, if you need the best foundation for your house, here are our contact details.

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