Permanent Wood Foundation System

Over the years, Eid-Co Homes has used many foundation systems, including concrete block, poured concrete, insulated shallow frost-free foundations and permanent wood foundations. Currently, Eid-Co Homes builds homes with Permanent Wood Foundations (PWF). There are many advantages with permanent wood foundations, a contemporary alternative for basements. Learn how homeowners today are taking advantage of this proven system and the many benefits it offers.

Brief Description of Permanent Wood Foundations

Permanent Wood Foundations are a complete engineered system of support and drainage. A lumber framed foundation wall sheathed with plywood that is load-bearing to support the home above. All lumber and plywood components are pressure treated to withstand any decay that could come from termites and moisture within the surrounding ground. Southern Pine is the preferred wood species used with PWFs because of its unique cellular structure that allows deep, uniform penetration of the preservations applied. An exterior poly sheeting and interior vapor barrier surround the structure walls to keep moisture from entering the basement. A layer of pea rock provides unobstructed drainage for water to flow away from the home. Proper elevation of the ground surrounding the home and a sump pump drainage system also aids in water distribution away from the home.

5 Advantages of Building Your Home with a Permanent Wood Foundation

1—Livability: Comfort & Warmth
PWFs provide a warm and comfortable living space, unlike other foundations which give a cool and damp feeling. With this foundation system walls don’t use a great deal of space which allows for more interior finished space. PWFs use superior drainage features to prevent typical moisture problems.

2—Energy Savings & Eco-Friendliness
Wood is a natural insulator and with the space allowed within the wood studs of walls insulation can be installed to increase the energy efficiency of the home. Eid-Co Homes insulates their foundation walls beyond the R-Value required by code. This added insulation keeps warm air inside the home in the winter and cool air inside in the summer. This conservation of the desired air temperature leads to lower heating and cooling costs.

Manufacturing treated wood products uses a great deal less energy than it does to produce masonry type products. In fact, the PWF is considered a renewable resource so it won't exhaust the earth's non-renewable natural resources and often referred to as "green technology" for its admirable sustaining qualities.

3—Ease of Finishing & Remodeling
An additional wall around the foundation wall's interior is not needed. Once PWF is installed, the interior is very economical and easy to finish since the wall studs are already in place. Plumbing and electrical wiring fits nicely into the wood frame of the wall. Finishing the walls are as easy to do as any interior wall.
Modifications can easily be accomplished to accommodate future desires for the space. In addition, simply hanging pictures & shelves is easy since no special tools are needed.

4—Drainage
Granular fill again the foundation walls, as well as under the foundation floor, allows water to drain into the full floor drainage system and be pumped out and away from the home.

5—Design Flexibility
PWFs can be utilized as a solid foundation system for all styles and sizes of homes. This foundation system can easily be adapted to adhere to different sites and soils.

Permanent Wood Foundation Bi-Level Specifications

PWF
Stud Spacing 16" on center
Wall Finishing Standard wall procedures
Insulation Wood naturally an insulator R-21 Batt insulation
Energy Efficiency

Renewable resource
Long term heating & cooling cost savings

Homeowner Satisfaction

“I also love my wood basement! Our home is a bi-level. We used to live in a home with a poured basement, prefer wood.” Dar G homeowner & Realtor


“I would live in a house with a wood foundation again in a heartbeat.” “ built a 2600 sq. ft. 2 story with a wood foundation, had an 8 ft deep basement” Sharon H homeowner & Realtor


“Actually in the 90s when a lot of concrete foundations were cracking and moving, ours was very stable.” Sharon H homeowner & Realtor


“We’ve found it can save as much as 50% in foundation costs.” Jim H


“The foundation has no cracks, is drier, and was less expensive to finish.” Ed S


“If I ever have another home built, the foundation will be like this one (PWF). The remodeling is easier, there’s no moisture, it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It cannot in any way compare with a block or solid concrete basement.” Jim T


FURTHER INFORMATION

National Association of Home Builders Research
NAHB research found that over the years homes with PWFs: maintained their value just as much masonry foundation homes, there hadn’t been any problems with pests in homes, homeowners were all satisfied and didn’t have any problems with their permanent wood foundations and they were impressed with the below-grade living area dryness. Strong Foundation The PWF includes an engineered foundation structure system created to effectively absorb and distribute soil and wind along with seismic stresses and loads that would otherwise typically split and crack other kinds of foundations. Furthermore, PWF is extremely resilient to certain damage due to cold weather conditions, while cracking from slight settlements in the soil is significantly decreased as well. The fact that the foundation's structure can "give" with slight soil settlements in addition to other changes greatly decreases the required maintenance it calls for.
Permanent Wood Foundation systems are proven to withstand severe decay and termite conditions over decades of exposure.

Material Used

Plywood and lumber pressure treated with a preservative. This treatment protects the wood foundation from decay and termites. The preservatives are forced into the wood under pressure where the chemicals bond with the cellulose in the wood. There are several components used with this foundation system—sheeting, pea rock, gravel fill & footings and drains to name a few—to support the home and control moisture.

Installation

Building PWFs require less on-site labor hours and often the same installers/framers as the rest of the home, resulting in less cost. This system can be installed in almost any kind of weather, even below freezing.
Longevity With a lifespan of more than a century long, the PWF can be installed with sheer confidence. The system's durability factor has been clearly illustrated time and time again with in-ground testing performed over the last 50 years by a number of Federal organizations. Wood foundations retain their value financially and their structural integrity. Commonly Accepted A permanent wood foundation structure is universally accepted by all fire insurance companies, financial lending institutions, warranty programs, major building codes, and mortgage companies throughout the country. The majority of lending institutions don’t make any distinction between homes built on a concrete foundation or built on a permanent wood foundation. Actually, the preservatives in woodused in PWF systems often prolong combustion and generally lower the rate flames spread during a fire. The preservatives also make the wood harder to ignite than untreated wood.

Sources

Southern Pine Council. FACTS about Permanent Wood Foundations, 1998 booklet.
Lavelle—The Building Materials Company, Fargo, ND. A Home Buyer’s Guide to the Permanent Wood Foundation.