Foundation Design

Due to very active clay soils in Texas, there are several designs that, when used in conjunction with a Geotechnical Evaluation, help reduce the severity of normal slab movement.

Post-tension Slab


A foundation design with grade beams in a waffle pattern to stiffen the slab. Cables are stressed to compress the concrete in two directions resulting in an active reinforcement at all times after the cables are stressed. This is generally the most popular design type due to cost savings and design advantages. 

Rebar Slab


A foundation design with grade beams in a waffle pattern to stiffen the slab. The rebar is dormant until the slab cracks at which time the reinforcing steel resists the tensile bending of the slab. This design is most often used for additions to an existing slab, or when there are multiple deep changes in the floor levels of a slab.


Added to Foundation Design

A design that is necessary where there is a large amount of fill or organic material (generally tree roots) that will result in volume reduction of the soil, or when a previous foundation was or will be excavated. Piers support the slab in the event of soil shrinkage, and non-uniform soil support.

Pier and Beam

A foundation design that typically has a reinforced concrete perimeter grade beam, with piers on the interior that support a wood framed floor system.

Uniform Thickness Slab

A foundation design that is a reinforced concrete slab of uniform thickness. It is generally used when the soil PI is less than 20. The slabs will not have grade beams but will be a “uniform thickness” throughout the slab of about 10 inches.

Suspended Slab

A foundation design that uses carton forms, or a uniform thickness slab raised with jacks. It is used to support the slab above the soil so that the slab and soils do not come in contacts. This design is the most highly recommended option when the soil PI is greater than 50.


A design, for foundations that may have basement walls, which must resist lateral soil forces and be waterproofed to prevent moisture intrusion. Most convenient on sloped lots where a “walkout basement” can be designed.

Wall / Wind Bracing

A design required per current International Residential Code (IRC); that stipulates that houses must be designed to resist lateral wind forces, ie: tornadoes. The location and wind exposure conditions determine the design forces. Wall bracing may be exterior and/or interior. Exterior walls with large amounts of window area may require special frames to resist wind loads.
Foundation Design Process
  • Submit Architect Plans
  • Drafting
  • Project Manager Review
  • Engineer Review
  • Submit Completed Soils Report
  • Design turn-around based on all information being received and design complexity
  • Submit Payment
  • Completed design mailed/e-mailed and/or picked up

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