Learn How Pier and Beam Foundations Work

In the late 40s and 50s, pier and beam foundations were the standard choice for home construction in central Texas. However, with the growth of the suburbs in the 60s and 70s, slab foundations became the norm. Although not as common today, pier and beam foundations remain in use in some parts of Texas.

Read on to learn what pier and beam foundations are and how they work.

Learn How Pier and Beam Foundations Work

What is a pier and beam foundation?

A pier and beam foundation is a type of foundation that consists of concrete piers that support beams. The beams, in turn, support the weight of the house.

How does a pier and beam foundation work

The piers that make up a pier and beam foundation are made of concrete and placed at intervals around the house perimeter and the interior if needed. The masons then place the beams, which support the weight of the house, on top of the piers. The space between the ground and the bottom of the beams, called crawl space, is typically left open.

Benefits of pier and beam foundations

  • Stability on soil: Pier and beam foundations are not as susceptible to soil movement as slab foundations. This stability occurs because the weight of the house is supported by the piers, not by the soil itself.
  • Drainage: Pier and beam foundations also allow better drainage than slab foundations. The space left under the house allows water to drain away from the foundation.
  • Easier to repair: If there is a problem with a pier or beam, it is usually easier to mend than a slab foundation. The crawl space left behind allows access to the faulty piers and beams underneath the house.

Vulnerabilities of pier and beam foundations

  • Foundation Settlement: If a pier settles, it can cause the beam it is supporting to shift and crack. However, the good news is that the settling rate of pier and beam foundations is slower than slab foundations.
  • Moisture: Because of the open crawl space, moisture can enter the home through the foundation, leading to mold and mildew problems.
  • Critters and insects: Open crawl spaces also provide easy access for pests and insects.


At Steady House Foundation Repair, we provide foundation repair services for pier and beam and slab foundations in  Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas area. We help out from straightforward foundation level up to the most complex. Our teams are also more than happy to answer any of your questions along the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.