Photo Gallery: Home Construction

Three main types of roofs, four types of wall, and four types of foundation are shown here. They may be used in any combination so different foundations, walls, and roofs can appear together.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Basic Features of a Home: Walls and Foundations

Loadbearing walls transmit the weight of the roof and floors to the ground, while non-loadbearing walls act only as partitions. Foundations spread weight. Within these basic areas of construction there are many variations according to architectural preference and need.

Types of Foundation: Crawlspace

A crawlspace elevates the living space off of the ground, which is beneficial in termite-prone or damp regions. It allows a place and easy access for ductwork and pipes. It is less expensive than a full basement.

Types of Foundation: Basement

Basements are usually built on a concrete slab, and a basement is actually a taller version of a slab. A footing is poured and foundation walls are constructed of poured concrete. Or a concrete block can be set on top.

Types of Foundation: Slab

In slab construction, a concrete pad, reinforced with steel, covers the area on which the house sits. In some cases the edges of the slab, directly below the exterior walls, will be thicker than the rest of the slab. Modern slab foundations are well insulated.

Types of Foundation: Pile & Grinder

In Pile & Grinder construction, the walls are supported by a column of reinforced concrete, or steel, drilled into the ground. The depth and frequency of beams depend very much on the type of ground below the building and on the building size. Piles may also be required for internal loadbearing walls.

Types of Wall: Traditional Solid Masonry

Older houses tend to have solid exterior walls. Internal loadbearing walls are usually also masonry, but may be wood. Ground floors may be concrete or suspended wood, and very old properties may have traditional floor coverings such as flagstones laid directly on a soil base. Upper floors are usually constructed of wood.

Types of Wall: Wood

Exterior walls are constructed of wood and clad in vinyl, masonry, or wood. If the cladding is masonry, metal ties attach it to the internal wall face. Interior walls, whether loadbearing or not, are wood. Upper floors are wood, but the ground floor may be wood or concrete.

Types of Wall: Modern Solid Masonry

Some newer houses have solid exterior walls, often built with different materials to their traditional counterparts. Internal walls may be wood or masonry, or there may be some of each. Floors, on all levels, may be concrete or wood.

Types of Wall: Masonry with Cavity

Exterior walls have an inner and an outer face, held together by metal ties with a cavity between them. They may be made of the same or different materials. Interior walls and floors may be masonry or wood.