Pier and Beam

The Big, The Bad, The Pier and Beam Home

June 9, 2022

Tags: pierandbeamfoundationrepair, pierandbeam

In Texas, two types of foundations are commonly found, each facing unique challenges due to the Texas climate. Among these, the pier and beam foundation is frequently seen in homes built before the 1950s but is still used today.

Pier and Beam Foundations

Pier and beam foundations are still being built; however, it is challenging to find contractors who specialize in these. Older pier and beam homes may suffer from excessive damage due to the quality of materials used in the 1940s and 1950s, such as untreated cedar tree trunks for support beams.

What Do Pier and Beam Foundations Provide?

These foundations rest on joists, or planks, that run the length of your floor to reinforce it. The joists are then placed on top of piers made from wood and concrete, which rely on the soil’s stability underneath them to support your house’s weight. When replacing the wood, ensure the foundation repair company uses treated lumber and shows you all the wood that needs replacement.

Soil and Stability

These foundations offer an advantage when dealing with Texas clay soil. This type of foundation adapts well to clay soil, allowing for even weight distribution. The piers can move when the soil is moist without breaking when the ground is dry. Additional support can be provided by adding concrete pad blocks or filling sonotubes with concrete to create extra piers.

Having a Crawl Space

Typically, the joists supporting your house are raised about 18 inches from the ground. This design allows easy access should you or a specialist need to fix any issues, including plumbing problems. The crawl space facilitates repairs and reduces the need for major excavation. However, if the house is below 18 inches, the foundation repair company may need to dig an entry point from outside the home and create a path for repairs.


Pier and beam foundations, while advantageous in many ways, require specialized attention due to their unique structure and the materials used in older homes. If you have a pier and beam foundation, consider regular inspections and maintenance to ensure its longevity and stability. For professional assistance and detailed evaluations, always reach out to experienced foundation repair specialists.

For more information, visit The Family Handyman, HGTV, and This Old House.

To book an appointment, Contact Us – Marquez Foundation