Best Foundation For Expansive Soil – A Comprehensive Guide To Sturdy Foundations

Last Updated on June 20, 2022

We have been asked numerous times, What is the Best Foundation for Expansive soil. Therefore, we have done our research and selected the best advice and answers to your questions; having knowledge of what expansive soil is and how it affects a foundation is vital if you want your project to succeed.

A foundation is one of the most important components of your landscape project. The type of foundation you choose will greatly influence the look and feel of your outdoor living space. The best foundation for expansive soil is a very important subject for agriculture, as well as for landscaping.

This article gives you all the insight you need to choose the foundation that works best. Have a look at this comprehensive guide to help you determine the best foundation materials for expansive soils below.

What Is Expansive Soil For Foundations?

Expansive soil is a condition where soil under a building or foundation expands because of moisture in the soil, which can lead to foundation failure and cracking. In order to avoid this problem, you need to be sure that the soil has good drainage. We all know that there are three basic foundation types: slab on grade, piers, and footings.

If you’re building a house, the type of soil you use in your foundation is very important. First, you have to understand that there are three types of soil in the ground. These include Clay, Sand, and Gravel. Clay soil is a mix of clay, sand, and silt. It’s very heavy, so it needs to be compacted well before you pour a concrete foundation.

Gravel has sand and silt but no clay. Gravel soil is usually found where there is a good solid base, like a hillside. Sandy soil, on the other hand, is light and will not support a large load or structure. You need a mix of the three soils to have a strong, stable foundation. However, let’s find out what is the best foundation for expansive soil below. 

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What Is The Best Foundation For Expansive Soil?

Having knowledge of the best foundation for expansive soil will save you a lot of trouble if you’re attempting a new building or extension. If you want to build a house with expansive soil, you need to have a concrete foundation. If you don’t have a concrete foundation, then your soil will be too soft, and the expansion could cause the walls to crack.

If this happens, then you have to tear down the wall and start all over. Another reason why concrete foundations are better is that the concrete will stabilize the soil structure. They provide the foundation with strength and stability though the soil is expansive.

Concrete also does not get heavy in wet weather or when exposed to high moisture levels in the soil. Although there are several pros and cons when using concrete, it is the best foundation for expansive soil as it is used by numerous construction companies throughout the US.

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What To Consider Before Foundation Excavation

If you don’t have a basement foundation in your house, you might want to consider digging one before you decide to build on your lot. In the past, foundations were built and excavated at the same time as the building of your home. But now that we are more aware of how damaging the soil can be, it’s important to take extra precautions.

Before you start digging, take note of the site and decide if you should dig from the side or the back. There are pros and cons for each option, and it all comes down to how deep you need to go. If you decide on digging from the side, you have to be careful about the grade and the soil strength. You should figure out what kind of foundation you are looking to build.

You can choose to have a basement foundation, crawl space foundation, or slab-on-grade foundation. Each type has different benefits and costs. A crawl space foundation is usually recommended when the property is less than three stories tall, and there isn’t much traffic through the home. They are also the easiest to install.

A basement foundation is recommended when the property is taller than three stories or has heavy foot traffic through the home. They are the most expensive to install. An above-ground slab-on-grade foundation is recommended when the site is flat, and the home is not at risk of flooding. They are also the most stable and best for homes with brick or concrete walls.

Concrete foundations have become increasingly popular in recent years because they provide a strong, long-lasting foundation. Therefore they are considered the best foundation for expansive soil. Here is a video with more information on a foundation in expansive soil. 

Tips To Consider When Building On Expansive Soil?

There are many types of foundations to consider for expansive soil construction. As long as the foundation is placed correctly and adequately, it should work just fine. However, when a home has expansive soil, the foundation may need some additional strengthening or reinforcement to hold up the weight and force of the soil. 

Listed below are a few tips for your to consider when building on expansive soil.


You can use a variety of building techniques for expansive soil, but we recommend you keep it simple. As a general rule, you don’t have to build your foundation at a steep incline, but you do need to make sure that your foundation is stable.
If you don’t have experience with expansive soil, we recommend you hire a professional for your foundation work. That’s because he or she can make sure that your foundation is properly installed and not subject to any additional issues down the road.
It is always a good idea to get more than one estimate from professionals when building on expansive soil. This is because no two experts will give you exactly the same advice about how to build your foundation.
In general, if your home is built on expansive soil, you need to dig a hole as deep as your footer will be and fill it with concrete. If you go deeper than that, it could crack your foundation.
If you are building a concrete foundation, you need to use reinforced cement. Otherwise, it can crack.

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There are three types of soil, Loam, Sandy, and Clay. Each has a different density. This affects how they drain. There are also three categories of foundations for expansive soils. Each foundation has a different name which includes Trench, Gravel Base, and Earthen Dike. Some experts agree that you should use a Trench or Gravel Base as the best foundation for expansive soil.

According to them, these are the most permanent, stable, and cost-effective solutions. A Trench is a series of holes dug in the ground, with gravel at the bottom. Gravel Bases are a series of trenches with gravel on the sides of the trenches that provide stability for your home. Earthen Dikes have very little soil between the trenches and are not as sturdy as Trenches and Gravel Bases.

Although you can mix up these three types of foundations, it may change your soil’s drainage and other characteristics. It is also important to keep in mind that you should be careful when installing a Gravel Base as it can compact the soil and alter its characteristics. Click on the link to find out how to avoid the effects of expansive soil on buildings. 

How do you put a foundation on expansive soil?

There are two ways to put a foundation on expansive soil. Either pour the foundation directly into the ground or first place two layers of plywood on the site and then pour the foundation.

Which foundation can be used for a building located on the expansive soil clay?

The foundation that can be used for a building located on the expansive soil clay is sand stone or Concrete.

What is the foundation for high quality soil?

The foundation for high quality soil is the use of organic materials like compost or manure, followed by the use of proper fertilizers.

Can you build on expansive soils?

Yes, you can build on expansive soil! However, remember that you will need to have soil testing done before starting any new project. There are many good resources on this topic such as the USDA Hardiness Zone Map.

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