Concrete Foundations: Cost Analysis with 13 Examples

If you are looking to build a shed, a house, or a different large outdoor structure, one of the best options for a foundation is one made of concrete. They are durable, versatile, and insulating. Concrete foundations are a great choice for both strength and cost-effectivity, no matter the structure.

Concrete foundations come in three styles with three different prices. Slab foundations average $16,000, crawl space foundations cost about $18,000, and full basement foundations cost an average of $21,000. Price also varies based on the thickness of the concrete and the difficulty of the project.

In this article, we’ve also included examples of foundation prices from around the United States to give you a better idea of how much foundations cost in your region.

Types Of Foundations

As I mentioned in the previous section, there are three types of concrete foundations: slab foundations, crawl space foundations, and full basement foundations.

These three foundations vary in essentially every way. They have different prices, functions, pros, and cons. One way they are similar is in their usefulness- all three slabs are great options, but it is important to read about them to ensure you build the right foundation for your structure.

Slab Foundations

Slab foundations are the simplest of all three concrete foundations. These foundations can be created at almost any surface area as long as the land they are on is flat.

Slab foundations are made of solid concrete that is usually 4″ to 6″ thick. Slabs are often placed on a layer of sand for drainage or to act as a cushion.

Once slabs are completely set and dried, structures are built directly on top of them.

Slabs are the most versatile of all three foundation types. Unlike the other two, which are used for houses, slab foundations can be used for almost any structure. Garages, sheds, greenhouses, and habitable homes are all able to be built on slab foundations.

Crawl Space Foundations

Unlike slab foundations, which sit directly on the ground, crawl space foundations have a small area -or crawl space- underneath them. Crawl space foundations are slightly elevated (18 inches to 48 inches) off of the ground using a variety of materials like wood, bricks, or cinderblocks.

The purpose of elevation in crawl space foundations is to provide a way for both plumbing and electrical maintenance to be done easily in the future. The space between the foundation and the earth is just large enough for someone to go inside it and fix whatever needs to be fixed without too much hassle.

Crawl space foundations are used for houses more than anything because they were created with the purpose of easily maintaining a home.

Full Basement Foundations

Full basement foundations are the most complex out of the three types of foundations because they are exactly what they sound like: full basements.

Full basement foundations are used for houses and can be fairly simple or very complex. The most basic full basement foundations are simply concrete outlines of the home’s shape and square footage. More complex full basement foundations have walls, doorways, and staircases put in.

Foundation Costs

Now that you know what each foundation is and what they’re good for, it’s time to look into pricing.

When it comes to prices, there are some materials and styles that are obviously cheaper than others, but it is vital to remember that the biggest cost factor is the size of your foundation. The more material, labor, and time you need to build your foundation, the higher your cost will be.

Slab Foundation Pricing

Slab foundations are easily the cheapest concrete foundation option due to the simplicity of their structure.

Concrete slab foundations typically cost $7.00 per square foot with no additives, so the variance of their price depends on the area you live in, the companies near you, and the current price of concrete.

On average, concrete for a slab would be about $4.00 per square foot, but labor per hour brings it up to our $7.00 per square foot average. For more difficult jobs, companies may charge more because their contractors are putting in a lot more effort than they typically need to get the job done.

Crawl Space Foundation Pricing

Crawl space foundations are the second cheapest foundation, averaging only $11.00 per square foot, even though they are a bit more complex than a slab foundation.

Crawl space foundations have a few features that change how much they will cost you, but the most important factors are the material you use for the beams and the insulation.

The most basic thing adding to the price of a crawl space is insulation, which will cost an extra $1.00 to $3.00 per square foot.

The second most important factor in crawl space foundation pricing is the material used for the support under the subflooring. For this price, you’ll have to get quotes from contractors in your area as material prices are different throughout the United States.

Full Basement Foundation Pricing

Full basement foundations are the most expensive of all the types because they are the largest and most complex.

The average cost of a full basement foundation is $33.00 per square foot. Factors that add to or take away from the price of full basement foundations are the height and width of the walls, as well as whether or not utilities, windows, stairs, or other features are included in the foundation.

Pros and Cons

After reading the last two sections, you must be wondering how each type of concrete foundation holds up against the others. I thought you might be thinking about this, so I made a chart outlining the pros and cons of each type of foundation so you can decide what is best for you.

Foundation TypeProsConsPrice
Slab FoundationCheaper material costs than other options.
Lower utility bills due to ground insulation.
Fastest installation process between all foundations.
No issue with mold, mildew, or pests.
No space for storage under foundation.
– Plumbing repairs can become tedious.
Cracks and buckles can occur.
$7.00 per square foot
Crawl Space FoundationDurable in earthquakes and floods.
– Can be built on uneven ground.
– Can cool homes in hot regions due to extra ventilation.
Less energy efficient.
Attracts pests.
– Can have issues with mold and mildew.
$11.00 per square foot
Full Basement FoundationAdditional square footage at a cheaper price.
Energy efficient seasonal living.
– More privacy.
Adds to the resale value of the property.
The most expensive foundation type to build.
Flooding, mold, and mildew are more likely.
Lack of natural light sources.
$33.00 per square foot

13 Real Cost Examples

Hopefully, the last few sections have given you an insight into the general costs of the three most popular concrete foundations, but we all know real prices aren’t always what the internet says they are.

For this reason, we’ve gathered 13 examples of foundations from home improvement and construction forums. In the table below, we have included which state these prices are from, what type of foundation it is, the square footage, and the total price of the foundation.

These 13 examples should give you a ballpark estimate as to what the prices of these foundations are in your area. This being said, you’ll get the best and most accurate price estimates by calling construction and contracting companies near you to get some personalized quotes.

StateType Of FoundationSquare FootagePrice
CaliforniaSlab Foundation Foundation500 square feet$10,000
OhioSlab Foundation 2,700 square feet$6,210
ArizonaFull Basement Foundation1,848 square feet$60,000
ArizonaCrawl Space Foundation 1,300 square feet$25,000
OhioFull Basement Foundation1,100 square feet$40,000
UtahCrawl Space Foundation700 square feet$15,000
MinnesotaFull Basement Foundation2,800 square feet$55,000
KansasFull Basement Foundation1,500 square feet$37,500
TexasSlab Foundation2,600 square feet$23,100
MichiganFull Basement Foundation2,100 square feet$46,000
MinnesotaCrawl Space Foundation1,750 square feet$19,000
ArizonaSlab Foundation2,800 square feet$21,000
OklahomaSlab Foundation3,000 square feet$25,000

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